Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, LA SERRE — arts vivants, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal are thrilled to announce the inaugural season of AMPLIFIER: a fully supported exploratory creation process for playwrights with artist Sylvia Cloutier and her project HUSH!
Sylvia Cloutier is an actor, musician, playwright, television and theatre producer, director, motivational speaker and mother from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (Northern Quebec), currently residing in Montreal.
Over the course of her twenty-five-year career as a singer, she has performed nationally and internationally both as a solo artist and in collaboration with many esteemed artists and ensembles including Tafelmusik, the National Art Center Symphony Orchestra, Florent Vollant, DJ Geronimo Inutiq Leela Gilday and Madeleine Allakariallak .
A recent graduate of the National Theatre School in Montreal as the Indigenous artist-in-residence (2018-2020), Sylvia has worked as a performer for 25 years. Cloutier is the co-founder of the Inuit performing arts company Aqsarniit; served as Artistic Director of Qaggiq theatre company in Iqaluit from 2004-2009; and as theatre project manager in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (2008-2010).
Building on her talent and expertise in both theatre and music, Cloutier began writing, producing and directing for stage and screen in 1999. She has developed live shows for such prestigious events as the 1999 Inauguration of Nunavut in Ottawa and the Arctic Inspiration Prize, and concerts for both the festivals Alianait (2005-2019) and Toonik Tyme (2003-2018) in Iqaluit. Sylvia has also been a producer for six Inuktitut television series, including Niqitsiat (2015-2016) and Nunavummi Mamarijavut (2017-2018). She also produced and co-created the musical production TULUGAK (2011-2014), collaborating with Inuit artists from Canada and Greenland.
A motivational speaker and mentor for youth, Cloutier was named “Woman of the Year” by Pauktutiit, the national Inuit women’s organization in 2009, and received an award for “Outstanding young woman of the year” by Qullit Nunavut women’s organization in 2013.
Sylvia’s project, HUSH, explores how an Inuit community is impacted by the loss of someone to suicide. The play invites the audience to Nunavik to witness the Inuit culture, its relationship with the environment, its resilience, and how colonization stripped away its power to take over and take away spirituality and sense of autonomy.
“If we can be aware of our realities then we can learn to understand our history better. If we can understand our history and the trauma then we can work on acceptance. When we accept our pain then we can heal. When we heal, only then can we can reconcile. No more need to HUSH.”
Sylvia is the first artist supported by AMPLIFIER in English. Over the duration of the program, she will benefit from dramaturgical consultations, creation workshops, a creation production residency followed by a laboratory presentation, and receive a creation grant of $13,000.
The Conseil des arts de Montréal, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, and LA SERRE — arts vivants created this program to highlight the artistic and social contributions of theatre artists from culturally diverse, indigenous, or racialized communities working creatively in one of Canada’s official languages.
AMPLIFIER tangibly supports the professional development of theatrical writers from cultural communities, and reduces obstacles faced by these artists in the Montréal theatre community, including those related to inclusion, access to resources and services, visibility and legitimization, and funding.
Additionally, it seeks to foster dialogue between Montréal’s English- and French-speaking theatre communities, as well as intercultural exchanges and greater representation from culturally diverse artists within the theatre community and on Montreal stages. In order to support artists writing in French and artists writing in English, this program is offered by the Centre des auteurs dramatiques in French under the name Voi.e.s.x Théâtrales, and by PWM in English.
The development of Sylvia’s project will take place over 2 years. We wish her an exciting creation!