2016 Festival

Here’s what people are saying about the Festival in Whitehorse…

“In the wake of tragedy and violence that I refuse to just get used to hearing about or living with, throughout these past five days, I have been consistently reminded of love, respect, and community.

Thank you to the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. You invited me in to teach a workshop, to give what I have to offer to the emerging artists in your program, and I appreciate the opportunity very much. That itself was a sufficiently rewarding experience.

But what you have given me in return is something I will hold dearly in my gut and in every step moving forward. With each person I met, both young and old – every hug and every handshake – I could feel their hearts reaching our without disguise and in common prayer and purpose.

After all, we’re sailing along in the same boat, faced with perhaps the same or different challenges.  We don’t have to let our ego keep us alone. And we can let ourselves be vulnerable enough to connect.  It is isolation that breeds competition.  Connection and collaboration cultivates growth.  I can’t wait to share the good things I have seen and the good things I have felt.”

Nicholas Walsh, Artist

Toronto, Canada


“I had a whole new experience of my own town. During the Magnetic North Theatre Festival we saw shows at the Old Fire Hall and then walked to the Roundhouse and then to KDCC and then on to Shipyards and then back to KDCC. Everything happened on the waterfront. Somehow I missed how lovely my own town had become. Whitehorse is really growing up and becoming a sweet place.

I want to extend my gratitude to New friends and Old friends I’ve connected with this week. Brenda Joy Leadlay, Christian Barry, Ben Stone, Amy Stewart Reitsma, Cliff Cardinal, Stephen Drover, Jill Keiley, Brian Postalian, Stewart Gregory Legere, Mariel Marshall, Ken Gass, Tawiah Ben-Eben M’Carthy, Ann Connors, Dave Mott, Marcus Youssef, Jordan Tannahill, Jessica Hickman, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Stefan Schmedke, and all the amazing new artists as part of Compass Points.”

Arlin McFarlane

Whitehorse Independent Theatre, Yukon, Canada


“I’m just dropping you a line with a big THANK YOU for an amazing programme of events and for the warm welcome. Wishing you all the best in the future!”

Aleksandra Rosiak, Manager

Riverbank Arts Centre, Ireland


“I’m writing to thank you for all you work on putting together a magnificent Magnetic North Festival in Whitehorse and for your support for me in facilitating my attendance.

The programme was very stimulating with a fascinating range of work covering site specific work, immersive work and a wide range in the theatres.  It was great for me as an international delegate to touch base with the Festival again and I was reminded what a great opportunity it is to ignite interest in the fascinating Canadian theatre world.

Whitehorse was a revelation too.  What a fascinating culturally rich place it is.  The range of cultural folk from the locality added to the stimulating cohort of delegates you’d attracted the festival made for some great introductions.  I particularly enjoyed the one to one sessions that you arranged.  I know these presented some organisational challenges but I found the meetings that I had very productive.

As I move forward looking at international programming I have a rich seam of information garnered from Magnetic North.  Thank you for providing me with that too.”

Tim Brinkman, Director

G Live, Surrey


“I wanted to thank you so much for the invitation and the magnificent hospitality we received in Whitehorse. Over the last ten years I have been lucky to visit many fantastic festivals and met many wonderful people. However I have no doubt in my mind that Mag North Whitehorse 2016 will go down in most delegates books as a “special one”, one of those ‘mythical’ events that will be talked about at future gatherings memories of dancing under the midnight sun, theatre in the woods, the toppled canoe…. So many great yarns to tell.

While it is vital to see new work, and we were treated to a wonderful range of work over the 5 days, it is I believe that through the relationships created over dinner, drinks or floating down a river that significant bonds are made, and out of these long term relationships and new and exciting creative projects emerge.  In the relaxed (not over packed) schedule in Whitehorse I had many terrific encounters and started to build friendships that I hope will, over time, be sustained and lead to shared work practices.

*****So well done you guys***** You have set the bar pretty high there Brenda for your successor. I am glad to know that Jennifer will be there as continuity.

Best wishes to you and please pass on my regards and appreciation to the rest of the team (especially the Volunteer “Superior” (said with a french accent) Dylan – a man who can magic an oil and vinegar dressing for a fussy Irishman and find cream cheese for a bagel at the drop of a hat).”

David Teevan, Independent Producer and Festival Programmer
Ten42 Productions, Ireland


“My second time at Magnetic North Theatre Festival. This time in White Horse on the land of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation; thank you for hosting me, thanks Brenda for a great festival; your fierceness and spirit, thanks to the MGNTF team, thank you Eric Epstein and Co, last and not least big thanks to all the artists that so generously keep us enlightened and on our toes. Thanks for old and new friendships!”

Ragnheiður Skúladóttir, Artistic Director

Lokal Festival, Iceland

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