Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context

A panel conversation and workshops on the theme of Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context. This event will look at how theatre has been used to create collaborative opportunities with immigrants and refugees in Canada, and what struggles lay ahead of us to bridge the divide between settler Canadians and newcomers.

featuring Lina de Guevara of Puente Theatre (Victoria) and Ruth Howard of Jumblies Theatre (Toronto), with Yasmine Kandil of Brock University (Niagara)

All events take place at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON

A free community event but please register for the workshops on Eventbrite.

Limited parking available. Contact Dr. Yasmine Kandil ykandil@brocku.ca for more information.


Friday March 16 at 7:00 pm

PANEL Discussion in the MIW THEATRE:
Tensions of Engagement in the Canadian Immigrant Theatre Context

This panel, moderated by Dr. Natalie Alvarez (Brock University), will feature three of Canada’s applied theatre artists who have devoted a large portion of their creative work towards working on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and creating opportunities for immigrants and refugees to explore their narratives of settlement through theatre.

This comes at a crucial time, as our society is witnessing an awareness of the insidious racism that exists in our country, as revealed by the Angus Reid Institute report of October 2016.  Our panel will discuss how applied theatre with immigrants and refugees in Canada has evolved over the past few decades, and whether there has been a positive and tangible impact that this medium has had on this community, and on settler Canadians.


Lina de Guevara

Lina de Guevara was the first immigrant artist to establish a theatre company in Victoria that solely focused on promoting the narratives of immigration and settlement with the purpose of bridging the gap between this minority group and the predominantly white culture of Victoria.  Her work has spread to other provinces in Canada since she began her Canadian journey almost 40 years ago.

Ruth Howard

Ruth Howard is the founder of Jumblies Theatre, based in Toronto.  Her work on issues of diversity has won her many awards. Jumblies Theatre is known for its work with minority groups, and especially of creating theatre that engages non-artists and a larger spectrum of participants through community-based theatre.

Dr. Yasmine Kandil

Yasmine began her immigrant journey in Victoria, BC, where she worked on multiple projects exploring celebration as a means for immigrant youth to claim a space in their new Canadian home.  She is presently engaged in the second phase of devising a theatre piece that examines narratives of immigration and settlement for Brock students and local immigrants and refugees in relation to expectations, obstacles, and assimilation.

Saturday March 17      


Workshop STUDIO B

10:00-12:00pm (Ruth Howard)

This workshop will explore Jumblies’ recent Four Lands touring project, which brings together settler, newcomer, Indigenous residents of all ages and backgrounds in a gentle exploration of different perspectives on a place.


Workshop STUDIO C

1:00-3:00pm (Lina de Guevara)

This workshop will explore the different tools used to do research related to immigrant and refugee narratives: interviews, storytelling of personal stories, image creation, forum encounters, audience participation, etc.  Lina will share the tools that she uses and those she avoids.

This event has already taken place.