Stage Door News

Toronto: Keith Barker steps down as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts

Friday, January 14, 2022

After five years, Keith Barker departs from Native Earth Performing Arts for his next adventure in his artistic journey.

“It is with bittersweet feelings that the Board of Directors of Native Earth Performing Arts announces that Keith Barker, who has been our Artistic Director since 2017, will be leaving the company and moving on to another exciting opportunity in Canadian theatre. We are delighted for Keith and wish him well in the endeavours that lie ahead.

We are grateful to Keith for his many contributions to Native Earth during his time as our Artistic Director. The company has grown, expanding the range of our offerings and becoming even more deeply connected with other theatre companies in Toronto, across the country, and internationally. We especially want to acknowledge Keith’s leadership through the pandemic, as we continue to support Indigenous artists in the development of new work and emerge from this time in a sound position artistically and organizationally.

We will miss Keith at Native Earth but we look forward to applauding his achievements in his new roles. We will all be continuing to work together to advance Indigenous arts and artists in Canadian theatre and internationally.” – Native Earth’s Board of Directors

“It is with sadness that we say Majasin/we will see you to Keith as he leaves Native Earth’s path to continue forward on his. It has been a gift to have had Keith as our Artistic Director. Since 2017, his clear artistic vision, passion/compassion for the art and artists has certainly had a wonderful impact on Native Earth.

We will miss you, my Algonquin Nephew! Manàdjìyàn/with respect.”

– Bob Whiteduck Crawford, President of the Board

“Native Earth has never been about one person’s vision. The impressive list of former artistic leaders has created an eclectic body of work that cannot be defined by a singular artistic vision. So it is, and so it should remain. It is time for a new voice.

With heartfelt gratitude to the staff, the board, the artists, our allies, and our communities, it is my time to step down in my role as Artistic Director at Native Earth.

Native Earth is fortunate to find itself in a positive position, both financially and artistically, despite the struggles of the pandemic. With exciting projects and artists on the horizon, Native Earth continues to be the premiere Indigenous Theatre company in the Country. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve Indigenous artists and their work in my role as Artistic Director. I look forward to supporting this next chapter of the Company.

All My Relations.”

– Keith Barker, Outgoing Artistic Director

With Native Earth’s 40th season just ahead of us, this is a momentous time in which we are eager to welcome a new leader with an inspiring vision. The Indigenous performance arts landscape has dramatically shifted in recent years. We approach the upcoming decade with excitement as we continue to support artists by producing and presenting Indigenous work

Our search for a new Artistic Director has commenced. Please see the details of the process and posting through the link below. We are casting a wide net and ask that you share this with anyone whose interest and experience might be appropriate.

Photo: Keith Barker.