Our Team has a passion and commitment for world Indigenous performance. Our combined experience ensures artistic and organizational excellence.
Red Sky Performance is a multi-award-winning company at the forefront of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and worldwide. Internationally-renowned, Red Sky was founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Sandra Laronde of the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water).
Touring since 2003, our collaborations on prestigious landmark projects have garnered critical acclaim both at home and abroad. Since our inception, we have proudly delivered 2,755 performances across Canada, as well a 198 performances in 17 countries on four continents.
Red Sky continues to meaningfully influence the ecology and evolution of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and around the world.
Executive & Artistic Director of Red Sky, Sandra Laronde, O.M.C., B.A. (Hon), Hon. LL.D is originally from the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario. An accomplished innovator and leader in arts and culture, Sandra has conceived, developed, produced, and disseminated award-winning productions that are Indigenous, multinational, multi and inter-disciplinary, and intergenerational in scope. Sandra creates exceptional new work and programming that raises the artistic ceiling of contemporary Indigenous artistry, and contributes to building vibrant Indigenous communities across Canada and worldwide.
Click here for Sandra Laronde's full biography.
Jera is of Métis heritage. As an Associate Artist with Red Sky Performance, he is a choreographer and performer. His choreographic works have been presented by Jacob’s Pillow, Canadian Stage, Fall For Dance North, and the Venice Biennale (all with Red Sky Performance), Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Canada’s National Ballet School, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, School of Contemporary Dancers, and the Tulsa Ballet Centre for Dance Education. Jera has performed extensively with Red Sky Performance throughout Canada, USA, and Europe.
Eddie Elliott is Maori from Tainui, New Zealand. A graduate of UNITEC in Contemporary Dance in 2013, Eddie was nominated for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and the 2014 “I Am Auckland Awards” which won him the Youth Active Award. He has worked with leading dance companies in New Zealand including Black Grace, Atamira, Okareka Dance Company, Douglas Wright Dance, and the New Zealand Dance Company.
Eddie is the 2017 recipient of both the Ellen Norris Scholarship and Creative New Zealand’s Toi Tipu Rea grant to mentor with Sandra Laronde at Red Sky Performance. He has performed in the world premieres of Backbone, Miigis, Adizokan, Great Lakes and Trace, and has toured extensively across Canada, United States and Europe with Red Sky.
Composer + Sound Designer
Eliot Britton integrates electronic and instrumental music though an energetic and colourful personal language. His creative output expresses an eclectic musical experience from gramophones to videogames, drum machines, orchestras and electronic chamber music. He is a proud member of the Manitoba Metis Federation. He completed his PhD in music research and composition at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University where he has worked as a course lecturer, researcher and composer in residence. He is the recipient of a SSHRC Bombardier graduate scholarship, Louis Riel Scholarship, Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Aspirant Program, and the Hugh Le Caine and Serge Garant SOCAN award, among others. Eliot is an assistant Professor of composition at the University of Toronto, co-director of Manitoba’s Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival, and continues to produce music for a variety of labels, companies and music houses. Recent projects include a commission from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra entitled “Heirloom Bison Culture”, the Plumes ensemble and Quasar quartet, and “Adizokan,” a co-production of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Red Sky Performance. In 2019, Eliot won the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Composition & Sound Design for “Trace” (Red Sky).
Carlos Rivera has been an Associate Artist with Red Sky for over a decade. He is a director, choreographer, dancer, and teacher. He has performed in Caribou Song, Dancing Americas, Raven, Shimmer, The Great Mountain, Tono, inSIGNia, and Mistatim (all with Red Sky). Carlos is of Mixteco Indigenous descent and trained at the Government of Mexico City's Cultural Secretary Dance School, Centre for Choreographic Research at the Fine Arts Institute (CICO-INBA), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the National Theatre School of Canada. Carlos has worked on Qaggiavuut’s productions such as Kiviuq and Arctic Song. His own choreographic works include Bosque Sagrado, Jardines y Santuarios, Memorias del Fandango, and From the Aztlan to the Zocalo. He also created I'm Not the Indian You Have in Mind (Harbourfront Centre), and most recently, he created Tlakentli (Ondinook), a dance work with Leticia Vera about inhabiting multiple cultural identities.
GENERAL MANAGER (TRAINEE)
General Manager (Trainee)
Kathy Morrison (Scottish/Anishinaabe/French) began her career in arts management at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity where she worked as Program Manager in Writing & Publishing for 4 years. Following a writing sabbatical, she returned as Program Manager of Indigenous Arts at Banff for eight years. Under the leadership of Sandra Laronde, she contributed to the successful delivery of exceptional programming for Indigenous storytellers, musicians, singers, dancers, writers, and filmmakers. From 2017-2019, she worked at ILBIJERRI Theatre in Melbourne, Australia's leading First Nations theatre company. She has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Montreal and a Master of Science in Writing & Cultural Politics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She is excited to back in Canada and working with Sandra Laronde at Red Sky, a leading company of contemporary Indigenous performance based in Toronto, home of the Mississaugas of New Credit, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat and Anishinaabe.
Leila Darragh, BA (Hons), is an Arts Administrator with over 7 years experience producing arts and community events in Toronto. Among her recent production credits are the Bespoken Performance Poetry Workshop Series (creator, facilitator and producer), the launch of this body project (event manager), and Anatomy Salon Series (co-created and produced with Gerry Trentham). Most recently, as Production Coordinator of Playwrights Guild of Canada, she organized and produced the 2019 International Webinar Series featuring conversations between Indigenous theatre creators in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; the Atlantic Edge Conference for theatre makers in Fredericton, NB; and the 8th annual Tom Hendry Awards. As a student of theatre, dance, yoga and movement disciplines, Leila brings a passion for performance, physical expression and creative excellence to her role. She is honoured to work alongside strong, visionary creators in bringing Indigenous culture and high-calibre performance to communities around the world.
JACKIE A. McALPINE
Jackie McAlpine has over 35 years of experience in administration and financial management for cultural and non-profit organizations. During her work with Small Theatre Administrative Facility, she managed administration and production services for multiple companies and independent artists such as Theatre Smith Gilmour; creator of the hit stage & TV show 'da Kink in My Hair, Trey Anthony; director of Cabaret Company and founder of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Sky Gilbert; the Actors Repertory Company; and the Associated Designers of Canada, among others. For five years, Jackie has worked with Marinucci & Company preparing financial audits, organizational process reviews, and development of policies and procedures. Jackie has worked with Red Sky Performance since 2008, first as Managing Director for four years and then as Finance Manager.
Wisdom + Culture Keeper
Niigaanipinens izhiniikaazo, Makwan ododeman (Don Kavanaugh) is Anishinaabe from the Lake of the Woods and lives in Animakee Wa Zhing First Nation. Don currently works as a Mineral Development Advisor for Anishinaabeg of Kabapikotawangag Resource Council. He became involved in theatre in 1996 while working as the Executive Director for the Lake of the Woods Ojibway Cultural Centre. As a participant of traditional powwow dance for more than four decades, Don is a firm believer in his culture and its traditional teachings. Since 1991, his work has been integral to arts and cultural development in the Kenora area where he supports artists and community members to pursue arts activities. Don has been a Cultural Advisor, instructor and performer at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre’s Summer South Program at Trent University, and at the Summer West Program at the University of Lethbridge. Following a 7-year hiatus from arts, Don returned to pursue the arts in a more supportive role. In 2016, he supported the Lake of the Woods Ojibway Cultural Centre’s arts programming revitalization efforts and n 2017, he was involved in 2 projects- No Wilderness: This Is Home and Summer Stories: The Northwest Angle- Treaty 3 Territory.
Wisdom + Culture Keeper
Taehowęhs - Amos Key - was born into the Onkwehonweh Civilization and is a member of Mohawk Nation, gifted into the Turtle Clan of his Mother and conferred to the Sacred Circle of Faith Keepers of the Longhouse at Six Nations of Grand River Territory. Amos is an educator and staunch advocate for Civil and Linguistic Rights, Social Justice, Indigenous Education and Self-Governance for Indigenous Peoples. His early career began as First Nation Guidance Counselor and Native Studies Teacher at the London Board of Education. He continues to be an an advocate for ‘synchronous’ e-learning secondary school education and has held elected appointments and engagements at local, provincial and federal levels. He provides leadership on a reconciliation project called ‘Save the Evidence' which would create a museum and interpretation centre at the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School and establish Canada’s first ‘Canadian Museum of Conscience’ (CMC). He is currently Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement at Brock University and in 2017, was also appointed to the University of Toronto’s Centre for Indigenous Studies to lead courses on Reconciliation and Languages in a tenure track position as Assistant Professor.
Wisdom + Culture Keeper
Pauline Shirt was born and raised in Saddle Lake Reserve, Alberta. Pauline is greatly recognized for her commitment to the Toronto Native community and for her dedication as a teacher and lecturer since the late sixties. She is a member of the Three Fires Society and the Buffalo Dance Society. Pauline is a founder of the First Nations School and the Red Willow which are just two examples of her strong work ethic and perseverance in improving the lives of the Toronto Aboriginal community. Today, Pauline serves as a mentor to many Aboriginal youth and young families as an experienced and trusted Grandmother. She also works in all levels of government conducting Opening Prayers and attending meetings, making sure the Aboriginal community is positively recognized as she offers a voice for her people.