35 years of Indigenous creation

Monday 20 January 2020

2020 is a special year for the company since we celebrate our 35th anniversary : 35 years of artistic resistance and indigenous creation!

[1/35] Here is our logo for 2020!

[2/35] Yves Sioui Durand

A member of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Yves Sioui Durand is a performer, actor, dramaturge, director and film maker. Since 1984, he has created a body of theatre work unique in Québec. It is founded on the quest for a truly Aboriginal theatre rooted in the myths and history of First Nations here and elsewhere around the world. He is one of the founders of Ondinnok productions and was the artistic director until July 2017. Since then, Yves has focused mainly on his role as an artistic mentor.

[3/35] Catherine Joncas

Actor, author and director trained at the Conservatoire d’Art dramatique de Québec, Catherine Joncas is one of the founding members of Ondinnok. Since 1996, she has also been the Administrative Director thus assuring the feasibility of all the company’s activities. She has written numerous plays produced by Ondinnok. In 2000, she wrote, performed and directed her most autobiographical play The Kiskimew Rendez-vous. In 2006, she directed Tales of an Urban Indian that, in 2009, toured the Maisons de la Culture à Montréal network, nine First Nation communities throughout Québec and La Rochelle France.

[4/35] Notre logo

Ondinnok’s logo as you know it today, comes from this art piece of F.Girard made in 1985 :

[5/35] John Blondin

Coming from a large and respected family from Deline (Fort Franklin) North West Territories, John Blondin (1960-1996) cofounded Ondinnok with Yves and Catherine. “John was an extraordinary man, full of energy, imagination and humour. He believed in art and its power to change things. He was in love with his culture and his territory.” – Yves Sioui Durand

[6/35] Ondinnok’s first creation

Summer 1985, in the heart of Montreal, the drums of “He Who Bears the Grief of the World” are resonating. They announce the birth of a work and thus the creation of Ondinnok, the first French-speaking Indigenous theatre company in Canada. Do you recognize the place?

[7/35] Our anniversary

While the mayor of Montreal announced yesterday (April 7, 2020) the cancellation of all public gatherings until July 2, we would like to make a wish :

During our next season, we wish to be able to celebrate our anniversary with you. We are working hard to organize an event. Take care of yourself and see you soon!

[8/35] Opitowap’s anniversary

Our founder Catherine Joncas wanted to celebrate today the anniversary of the premiere of OPITOWAP which took place on May 27, 1995, with this letter (french only)

[9/35] Ondinnok’s birthday

On June 2, 1985, 35 years ago, Ondinnok was born and the “He Who Bears the Grief of the World” was born at the first FTA, in the heart of Montreal. This creation has been performed on many occasions throughout the world in the ten years following its premiere. Playwright/Director: Yves Sioui Durand

[10/35] Rabinal Achi’s 10th anniversary

On June 18th, 2020 we’ve celebrated XAJOJ TUN RABINAL ACHI ‘s 10th anniversary, coproduced by Présence autochtone (Direction : Yves Sioui-Durand)

[11/35] Ondinnok : artistic creation AND resistance

On May 2017, Ondinnok called Indigenous artists in all disciplines and representatives of the principal Indigenous arts organizations to a summit meeting in Montréal,
a State of Affairs on Indigenous Arts in Québec, before publishing this manifesto for the Advancement of Aboriginal Arts, Artists, and Arts Organizations of Québec written and signed by more than
70 Indigenous artists and artistic organizations in Quebec, and sent to more than 40 Indigenous and non-Indigenous politics and artistic institutions.