The Board of Directors of the Canadian Theatre Festival Society announced today that it is cancelling the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. The Festival was scheduled for 16-24 June 2017 in various arts venues in Ottawa, including the National Arts Centre, la Nouvelle Scène, and Ottawa Arts Court. As a result, the seven productions from across Canada, programmed prior to Artistic Director Brendan Healy’s appointment in November 2016, as well as its annual Industry Series for professionals in the Canadian and International theatre, are cancelled.
The Board profoundly regrets this decision and its impact on staff, artists, our funders and partners and theatre professionals. The Society cannot continue to produce the Festival under its current financial circumstances. We have looked at all the options to be able to proceed in some capacity, but regrettably none is viable.
While the accumulated deficit has been reduced by half over the past five years, the magnitude of the financial challenges and the continued pressure of an accumulated deficit make the festival untenable.
The Board deeply appreciates Artistic Director Brendan Healy for his dedication to the organization and was looking forward to implementing his vision for the Festival beyond 2017, and Nancy Oakley, the recently-appointed Managing Director, for her commitment and determination to bring the 2017 Festival to fruition. The Festival’s problems are beyond the capacity of these two fine theatre leaders to resolve.
Magnetic North has had an immeasurable impact on Canadian theatre. This significant 15-year legacy is the result of efforts of a great many people. On behalf of the Board, I wish to express gratitude for the extraordinary work of current and past management, staff, Board members, the National Resource Council, donors and volunteers.
I would also pay tribute and express our gratitude to the Board, management and staff of the NAC for their ongoing support over the years of the Festival’s existence.
Canadian Theatre Festival Society