Creative Generator Program
The Creative Generator Program is an outgrowth of PE’s local artist-in-residence program, which has supported eight artists and one collective since 2020. Similar to those residencies, the Creative Generator program provides a range of supports, including: a financial contribution of $2,000 toward the costs associated with creating a new work, a $500 fee to hire a mentor or collaborator on the project, and the administrative and mentoring support of the Public Energy staff and office. The program is open to all professional artists or collectives working in the disciplines of dance, theatre, or multidisciplinary performance, and living in the area of Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. This includes Peterborough City and County, and the First Nations of Curve Lake and Hiawatha.
2023-2024 Creative Generator Recipients
Lindy Finlan (she/her) is an emerging playwright. Her plays include Ruse of the Romantic (The Theatre on King, 2015); The Fool of Cavan: A Christmas Caper (4th Line Theatre, 2019); and Bedtime Stories & Other Horrifying Tales, co-written with Kim Blackwell (4th Line Theatre, 2020). Her plays produced at 4th Line Theatre were included in the anthology 4th Line Theatre: Outside of Summer published by 4th Line Theatre Press. She is currently participating in the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s Mentorship Program as a mentee.
Lindy will be using her residency to complete a script for a full-length production entitled Take this, My Body; a play exploring themes of female agency, power dynamics, and moral ambiguity. Set in late-nineteenth-century Canada, Take This, My Body explores the state of womanhood as experienced by the “fallen women” of the bawdy house and the feminist social reformers who seek to “save” them. The play is double-cast with the actors playing the women of the bawdy house also playing the social reformers.
Jon Hedderwick is a professional spoken word poet, performance artist, media artist and educator of mixed Ashkenazi Jewish and Scottish heritage based in Nogojiwanong/C.K.A. Peterborough, Ontario. Jon is the Artistic Director for the Peterborough Poetry Slam Collective, one half of the spoken word performing duo WordCraft, and a co-creator of the Take-out Poetry Project. He has performed poetry across Canada, and his work has been featured at various festivals and conferences. Since 2019 he has been increasingly working in devised theatre, and created a one-person show called Bubbie’s Tapes, which was presented in-process at the Precarious3 Festival. He recently presented a new one-person show called Enkidu, based on the Epic of Gilgamesh, at the Theatre on King, which employed spoken word poetry and storytelling with live musical accompaniment.
During his residency with Public Energy, Jon will continue his work on Bubbie’s Tapes. A show that explores the history and ongoing impacts of antisemitism in Canada. Whilst drawing on personal family experiences from the Russian Revolution, through the Holocaust, and beyond, as recounted by Jon’s Bubbie Sarah in cassette tape recordings she left behind.
Eryn Lidster is a multidisciplinary artist and administrator who has supported the production of over 40 performance works since 2016, including two original works Invisible and Rejoinder. They were awarded the Gregory R. Firth Memorial Prize twice for their film work, which has screened at Trent University, Michigan State University, and the Art Gallery of Peterborough. Lidster holds an Honors Bachelor in Cultural Studies and was a recipient of a Metcalf Performing Arts Internship Grant. They are also a founding member of Canadian Images in Conversation screening collective and often explore technical and material implications in their work.
Eryn will explore various forms of animation including rotoscoping and puppetry using Isadora projection mapping software. The work will be grounded in science fiction narratives and examine digital video’s material and performative nature, with a focus on the three-dimensional and malleable potential of projections. Eryn will also explore how projections can respond to ambient input through the Isadora software.
Highly attuned to processes, Sarah McNeilly is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Nogojiwanong, renamed Peterborough by European settlers. Primarily a performer, a writer, and an academic, Sarah’s artistic work seeks to blur the lines between theory and practice. She has created and co-created original theatre and movement work for numerous festivals and venues. Sarah recently performed her debut solo scrip, Titty Cakes: A Recipe for Radical Acceptance, to sold-out audiences during breast cancer awareness month.
During her residency, Sarah aims to research and develop a largely autobiographical solo theatre script called One Rogue Cell (working title). An investigation of singularities, this work explores black holes, the very first cave painter, and cancer searching for the possibility of futurity in total collapse
Fleshy Thud is a performance collective based in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong, dedicated to supporting experimental work by regional artists. They have produced over 40 site-specific dance and theatre works, and (with The Theatre on King and Public Energy) produce the Precarious Festival. Baroness (working title) sees Fleshy Thud gather an ad-hoc group of regional artists working in theatre, music, poetry, and visual art. The artists involved are: Kate Story; Ryan Kerr; Kate Alton; Brad Brackenridge; Aaron Cavon; Naomi Duvall; Matt Gilbert; Shannon McKenzie LeBlanc; Sarah McNeilly; Justin Million; Benj Rowland; Daniel Smith; Lindsay Unterlander; Nikki Weatherdon; Gary Blundell; and Victoria Ward.
Baroness (working title) is a devised performance collaboration inspired by the life of Baroness Elsa, a figure in the New York Dada scene known for her poetry, art, and unconventional life. The project dives into the parallels between Elsa’s time and today, including questioning of gender and sexuality, artistic innovation, and dangerous political movements.
2021-2022 Creative Generator Recipients:
Naomi Duvall is an actor, playwright, puppeteer and burlesque performer. She has been working on her craft since she graduated in 2012 from a 3-year professional theatre acting program at John Abbott College in Montreal. Her most recent work is the piece Dark Eyes, which she performed and recorded for 4th Line Theatre’s Festival of Light and Dark in February of this year. She has been making art in Peterborough for the past six years and has been involved in a variety of dance/theatre/puppetry shows. You may have recently seen her work in Public Energy Performing Arts’ Rewind Room in April-June of 2020.
Naomi will be developing Dark Eyes, a shadow puppet play detailing the love story of a woman and an extraterrestrial.
Jennifer Elchuk (Opal) has been active in the Peterborough community as a multi-disciplinary artist since 2006. Her current focus is creating circus and multi-art performance. She coordinates the Peterborough Academy of Circus Arts(PACA), a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and creating circus arts locally, which she has been actively involved with since it was founded in 2014. Her art has often explored themes of human connection to the natural landscape, as well as relationship between human bodies, largely through collaborative work.
During this residency Opal will explore a new way to rig the aerial canoe, a unique circus apparatus that she designed. She will explore themes related to the concept of Storm: Weathering and Waiting Out, as metaphor for two basic coping methods in times of challenge: resisting and accepting.
Nimkii Osawamick (Odawa, Wikwemikong Unceeded Reserve, Wolf Clan) is a world renowned dance artist specializing in Hoop dance. His performance credits include the 2020 Juno Awards, the Digging Roots 2019-2020 World Tour, and international performances with cellist Cris Derksen. He performed as a dancer and a singer in Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s The Honouring and TransMigration Tour. In 2019 he was named Outstanding Emerging Artist at the Peterborough Arts Awards.
Nimkii will be working on two projects during his residency: choreography for a new music video and a filmed documentary-drama about his recently deceased grandfather.
Kate is a genderqueer writer and theatre artist originally from Newfoundland, now living and working in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough, Ontario. Kate has collaboratively devised over 30 dance/theatre performance works over the years including Performances May Be Permanent, damned be this transmigration, Insomnia, a place you’d go to find something, something that you’d left there, Unexploded Ordnance, and Festivus Rattus Rattus 2035!; projects have been presented in Peterborough, Toronto, and St. John’s. Kate is grateful to have worked with diverse theatre and dance artists including Christopher House, 4th Line Theatre, DNA Theatre, Caravan Stage Company, R. Murray Schafer, Bill James, Chartier Danse, The Nervous System, Ker Wells, Fleshy Thud, Ryan Kerr, and many others. In 2015 she received the Ontario Arts Foundation’s K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Theatre.
While in residence with PE, Kate will develop a new performance work Anxiety, examining the history of the English language and the roots of white supremacy as Kate seeks to understand her place in a modern world seemingly gone mad.
2020-2021 Creative Generator Recipients:
Nicole Malbeuf is a performer, mover, maker and instructor based in Peterborough, Ontario. With a diverse background in fine art, fashion and farming, Nicole brings a unique perspective to her work. She is considerate of colour and composition and fascinated with texture and medium. Her work often presents stories or concepts to demonstrate dualities found in the human experience and nature. When she is not developing her artistic work, Nicole works at growing her entertainment business, Trellis Arts & Entertainment Opens New Window. Trellis aims to inspire interest and engagement in the performing arts indiscriminately across demographics of Ontario, Canada.
Outside of her creative practice, she passionately instructs adult and teen circus classes at the Peterborough Academy of Circus Opens New Window, and always thrilled to work with A2D2 Aerial Cirque Dance Co Opens New Window (Mississauga) as a company member aerialist. And when there’s time at the end of the day, she loves to putter in the garden, take dance lessons and hang out with her cat, chickens, family, friends and loving partner.
Irèni(Irene) Stamou is a Canadian choreographer and dance artist. For over three decades, Irèni has created and performed a body of work consisting of 30 choreographies. A graduate of Concordia University/Montreal: Bachelors of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance 1989, Irèni received the award for outstanding achievements in choreography. She founded her dance company Métaspora Danse( beyond dispersion) 1994-2004, performing as a soloist and creating group choreographies presented in Canada, Europe, New York City and Costa Rica. Her first performances started at Tangente Danse Actuelle where she performed the core of her work for 16 years. Irèni also performed at The Canada Dance Festival, Festival de la Nouvelle Danse, the Multicultural Festival in Ottawa, Dancing on the Edge, Vancouver, Guelph Dance Festival, L’Agora de La Danse, Montreal, and the Ottawa Dance Collective. Irèni received Artist in Residence projects in Lille France (Danse a Lille), Le Usine C, Montreal, Estudio Los Almendros, and Nosara Retreat in Costa Rica.
Irèni received between 1994 and 2004 project-based grants from The Canada Council, The Montreal Arts and letters, Multiculturalism Canada, and The Montreal Arts Council. In 2004 at 40 years old, Irèni decided to start a family and moved to join her partner in Southern Ontario. Irèni performed Tenfold (for peace) at The Art Gallery of Windsor in 2005.
Between 2006-2017 Irèni lived mostly in rural Costa Rica, being a mom, practicing sustainability and studying the Healing Arts. Irèni has received numerous certifications in somatics, yoga therapeutics, aerial yoga and bodywork. In her Costa Rica residencies, Irèni researched somatic improvisational movement for sustainability and longevity, a process that helped her with spinal issues and identifying blockages in the body-mind. Following this exploration, Irèni was one of the winners at The Choreographers festival for her choreography Mia Zoi “One Life,” a solo for Daniel Marenko, a cancer survivor. She travelled to Nicaragua, where she performed and taught workshops for homeless children at La Casa de Tres Mundos. Irèni taught somatic seminars at the University of Costa Rica for the Theatre and Dance departments. Recent choreographies include Body stories; Quartiers Danse Festival Montreal 2015. Oresteia, the Spanish adaptation of the ancient Greek play by Aeschylus with The National Theatre of Costa Rica 2017.
Irèni relocated to Peterborough /Nogojiwanong, Ontario, in 2018 with her family. Irèni participated in the 25th anniversary of Public Energy ‘s community project Transcendence, a choreography by Bill Coleman. She created new choreographic work and collaborated with local dance artists, Anne Ryan and Janette Fronz: SoulStories 2019, and Bonestories with the dancer Dreda Blow 2020, presented at The Theatre on King Small Dances for a small space festival / Public Energy production.
Common Threads Collective is a diverse group of newcomer and non-newcomer artists. The spark for our initial formation was a powerful newcomer story developed and shared by Reem Ali, NCC’s Workplace Integration Liaison. CTC’s creative process during the Public Energy artistic residency involves designing and delivering workshops in our various fields of expertise, prioritizing newcomer participants, although also open to non- newcomer community members. This work, and the skills and connections forged in the community, will then become the basis for a larger presentation Land(ing).
Over the course of the residency CTC artists will document the workshops, continually sharing and discussing our creative findings, building a shared vision for the final project. We will explore links between workshop outcomes and the original newcomer story, and discuss possible approaches to animating this story with community participants, using skills and ideas developed during the Public Energy residency.
The Public Energy residency will provide us with creative material and direction, and forge connections between artists and community members, offering invaluable preparation so that we can move into the production stages for Land(ing) with a deep and complex understanding of the communities this project is serving. The residency will culminate in a filmed documentary of the process, and an artist talk.
2019-2020 Creative Generator Recipients:
Melissa Addison-Webster is a performance artist. As a Queer woman living with disabilities who is also settler, she has a varied career in the Disability and Integrated Arts fields. Melissa’s practice endeavours to create more understanding, harmony, and respect across society combining her passions of spiritual and social change, She has studied Expressive Art Therapy, (Haliburton School of the Arts), has an Honours Degree in History (Trent) and an Honours Degree in Social Work (Lakehead). Melissa performed at the 8 to 8, From the Floor (Peterborough) and the FFIDA Dance Festival (Toronto). She has collaborated with The Theatre Centre (Toronto), Picasso Pro (Toronto), Propeller Dance (Ottawa), and Michelle Silagy (The School of Toronto Dance Theatre). As a Crip arts advocate, Melissa has made presentations about her arts practice at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Sunday Series (Toronto) and H’Art School Able Artist (Kingston). She has facilitated dance classes at York University, the Regional Ontario Contact Improv Jam and through her private social work practice. Most recently she presented Appendages Revisited at Artsweek Peterborough in collaboration with the Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region.
Anne White is a Nogojiwanong/Peterborough-based artist, learning how to live and work respectfully on land and waters governed by the Williams Treaties. With a background in physical, collaborative and devised theatre, she makes live performance works, frequently developed and performed outside of traditional theatre spaces.
Anne’s work explores institutional structures of power (social, cultural, historical, technological, etc.) and how these structures constitute our spatial, temporal, aesthetic, embodied and emotional experiences of a place. By making these structures of power visible through art, we can explore strategies for questioning and subverting them.
She has her BA (Honours) in Theatre Studies and History and has trained with Zuppa Theatre Co., Adam Paolozza, and Quote Unquote Collective, among others. She is a recent recipient of Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program and has been commissioned by local festivals including Artsweek (2018). Anne is a co-founder of the arts collective Ring O’ Rosie and regularly collaborates with artists from other disciplines.