Co-Presented by Anvil Theatre, PuSh Festival and Touchstone Theatre

Anvil Theatre is co-presenting Okinum with Push International Performing Arts Festival and Touchstone Theatre by Anishinaabe multi-disciplinary performer Émilie Monnet. Drawing inspiration from the world of dreams and intuition, Okinum stands as “an ode to reclaiming language and reconnecting to one’s ancestors”. Performed in English, French and Anishnabemowin, the play interweaves performance, visual storytelling, and a live score by musician Jackie Gallant.

In Anishnabemowin, “okinum” means dam. In deciphering a recurring dream about a giant beaver, writer, co-director and performer, Émilie Monnet, discovers how to break down interior barriers and trust in the power of dreams and intuition. Okinum is an ode to reclaiming language and reconnecting to one’s ancestors.

By Productions Onishka with AnAku

A captivating combination of performance, live sound, and visual storytelling, the play is a circular and immersive experience that interweaves three languages: English, French and Anishnabemowin. Featuring a score performed live by musician Jackie Gallant, this captivating monologue deftly combines elements of autobiographical fiction and documentary theatre.

Throughout the performance, dreams and memory flow into one another across time and space.

At the intersection of theatre, performance and sound, Émilie Monnet’s work is most often presented in the form of interdisciplinary theatre or performative installations. Her artistic approach favors collaborative and multilingual creative processes, and explores themes of memory, history and transformation.

A committed interdisciplinary artist, she founded Onishka Productions in 2011 in order to forge links between artists from different Aboriginal communities, regardless of their discipline. Since 2016, she has presented Indigenous Contemporary Scene / Scène contemporaine autochtone, a nomadic platform for the dissemination of Aboriginal performing arts. Five editions have been created to date.

She has recently premiered her new creation, Marguerite: le feu (2022), after Okinum (2018) and Kiciweok: Lexique de treize mots autochtones qui donnent un sens (2019). Émilie is of Anishnaabe-Algonquin and French descent and currently lives between the Outaouais and Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyaang / Montreal.