Magnetic North Theatre Festival is back for 2019

Following two hiatus years, Magnetic North Theatre Festival is returning to the stage, hosted in Metro Vancouver June 1-9, 2019. Canada’s only national theatre festival focuses on Canadian work and engaging participants from across the country, including invited guests from abroad. The renewed festival will no longer be strictly focused on theatre. As the lines blur between disciplines in the works that artists are creating, the festival will be focused on the live performing arts in whatever form that may take.

Magnetic North Board Chair Heather Redfern says, “The festival has had an incredible amount of fundraising support from our national arts community and long-time MagNorth supporters, with our Vancouver community especially keen to be featured in this year’s festival. There are over a dozen performances, as well as workshops and symposiums throughout the nine-day festival, presented with our partners the Shadbolt Centre, Presentation House Theatre, Progress Lab 1422, Touchstone Theatre and The Post at 750, as well as The Cultch.”

“One of our colleagues coined the phrase ‘potluck programming’,” says Redfern. “Where the indie theatres would bring their projects to the table if Magnetic North would be an umbrella for those shows and host the work in the homes we found for those projects.”

“The other change to the programming model,” says 2019 Festival Producer Amy Lynn Strilchuk , “is that we didn’t want to only feature full-scale productions that had been previously done. It felt important to also utilize the time in our host venues to support and showcase the development of new work in progress. There is so much new work being created across Canada, and rather than only program what’s ‘finished’, why not – in our national theatre festival – celebrate theatre making? So festival audiences will be let-in on the creation process – either through open-studios or sample showcase readings – whatever phase the artists are at that day.”  

Festival passes to all workshops, symposiums, and select shows are either $160 or $60 – participants pick the fee they want to pay.

Magnetic North Festival Mainstage Performance: Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis


·       The Body Project  (Tara Cheyenne Performance, Vancouver)

·       Chicken Girl by Derek Chan (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)

·       Culture Capital from Milton Lim and Patrick Blenkharn (Vancouver)

·       Eloise by Jeanette Kotowich (Vancouver)

·       HIVE 2019 (Produced by the Hive Performance Collective in association with Presentation House Theatre, North Vancouver)

·       Inheritance: A pick-the-path-experience by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn (Alley Theatre, Vancouver)

·       In Tune: New Musicals in Development (Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Me Love Bingo from Kyle Loven (Vancouver)

·       Mermaid Spring Co-Created by Kyla Gardiner, Barbara Adler, and James Merger (10,000 Wolves, Vancouver)

·       New Work from Nadia Ross (STO Union, Farrellton

·       Peter Tripp Project from Jayden Pfeifer & Johanna Bundon (Regina)

·       rEvolver Festival (UpintheairTheatre, Vancouver)

·       Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis (2PAR4, Montreal)

·       Stray – Co-created by Tanya Marquardt, Tim Carlson, and Mallory Catlett (Theatre Conspiracy, Vancouver)

·       Svaha (Nova Dance, Toronto)

·       Tucked & Plucked Created by Dave Deveau & Cameron Mackenzie (ZeeZee Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Undivided Colours – a collection of dance works by Peter Chin, William Lau, Hari Krishnan, and Alvin Erasga Tolentino (Co.ERASGA, Vancouver)

·       Unscripted: Kuroko Hosted by Tetsuro Shigematsu (Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver)

Heather Redfern notes, “We (the board) always said we’d only keep the festival going if our community wants it. So the future of Magnetic North really is in our participants’ hands. We’re excited to hear what they have to say.”

Have your say about the festival by attending a performance or more.  Magnetic North Theatre Festival runs June 1 – 9, 2019, at venues around Vancouver, for full programming and schedule are available at