Stage Door News
Kitchener: Majdi Bou-Matar, founder of MT Space, has died
Thursday, June 30, 2022
It saddens us deeply to share that our beloved friend, colleague, and founder of MT Space, Majdi Bou-Matar, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday evening. We are devastated by this news and will be taking time and space to move through this grieving process together at MT Space.
Majdi touched a lot of lives and was truly a trailblazer in our industry - nationally and internationally. We encourage our communities to share their memories as the beautiful impact that Majdi made will be cherished and honoured. We will do everything we can to continue his legacy as he gave us a glimpse into what an inclusive future could look like.
There is much more to say about Majdi, his enormous contribution to our communities, and what we have all lost. We will issue a formal tribute when the shock of his passing allows.
* * *
MT Space was created to centralize marginalized and racialized artists and stories, to fill what seems to be a great void in a community of many different peoples.
MT Space (Multicultural Theatre Space) was founded in 2004 by Lebanese-Canadian Majdi Bou-Matar, who was a trained director, actor, and dancer. Majdi relocated to Canada when his wife was accepted to University of Waterloo to pursue a PhD. Thinking that Majdi would continue his career in Canada as a multi-talented artist, he auditioned with various theatre companies in Southern Ontario. After receiving the same criticism over and over, hearing that his accent was too thick or that he “didn’t look the part”, Majdi decided to create a company that would become a platform for all artists that felt marginalized, racialized, and displaced. This is how MT Space was born.
For the past seventeen years, MT Space has been fulfilling its mandate by creating, producing, touring, and presenting artistic work that reflects Canada’s cultural diversity. Since 2004, MT Space has become a conduit for internationally trained immigrants and newcomer professionals across all disciplines. In July 2016, Pam Patel – who had been an artistic associate with MT Space since 2008 and mentored with Majdi – stepped into the role of Artistic Director and looks forward to ushering the organization into its next decade of powerful artistic work, bringing with her a South Asian background and Canadian upbringing.
MT Space has grown from being a company that produces one show every year to an organization that brings culturally and socially relevant work from across the country and around the world to our community of Kitchener-Waterloo. We have challenged the preconceptions of theatre to create, produce, and present work that is accessible and affordable to low-income families while creating a space for Indigenous, immigrant, refugee, and marginalized voices to be heard.
MT Space challenges the definition of theatre to include all disciplines such as dance, music, multimedia, and circus performing arts. As such, MT Space is becoming a presenter of artists and arts organizations across many disciplines.
Photo: Majdi Bou-Matar.