Emily’s Story

Over the next year, Emily Solstice Tait is working with TPM as our Indigenous Arts Leadership Fellow.  We are so pleased to have her creative spirit on the team! We asked Emily to share the story of her creative journey. Here’s Emily’s story in her own words….


Photo Credit:
Erik Zennstrom
Raven Spirit Dance

I am excited to be starting my fellowship with Theatre Projects Manitoba. The arts is a place where connections are born, where lessons are passed on from one another, and where healing laughter lives. I feel encouraged in my work as an artist because of the Winnipeg Art Councils Indigenous Arts Leaders Fellowship.  TPM has held this space for decades and I am excited to connect further with the Winnipeg arts community through the stories they bring forward. Like last year’s production of Dragonfly by Lara Rae, which I loved!

Production: Dragonfly by Lara Rae
Photo Credit: Leif Norman
Pictured: Eric Blais and Sarah Constible
Production Design: Hugh Conacher Costume Design: Maureen Petkau

This year my work as an independent artist has taken me on a few adventures. I was invited to a Stratford workshop of Pawâkan Macbeth at the Banff Centre working with Michael Greyeyes and Santee Smith. I love all forms of storytelling, but this experience was monumental as it was both very physically demanding and it was the first time I had the chance to learn and work with the Cree language. This year also brought me to the Talking Stick Festival where I got to dance in Raven Spirit Dance tech residency of Confluence. An intergenerational and ongoing exploration of the Indigenous voice in the arts. Attending this festival brought me a large view of the Indigenous art that is happening across Turtle Island and I am excited to bring these connections and inspirations to my work with TPM.

Photo Credit: Erik Zennstrom
Company: Raven Spirit Dance

Theatre Projects Manitoba’s approach to story building is one I have admired for some time. First as an audience member and then as a student representative. Watching shows like Patrick Friesen’s A Short History of Crazy Bone inspired me by offering new ways that I can think about my contemporary dance practice to tell stories. TPM even caught me by surprise by bringing me closer to my own sister!  I was asked if I would perform alongside my singer-songwriter sister, Ila Barker, at a salon. This was a first for us sisters and it was so rewarding to do. I have a feeling that it was only the beginning of Ila and my creation journey together. Being innovative about the way we tell our own stories is necessary today more than ever and I am ready to dive into the learning of all the moving parts that make Theatre Projects Manitoba come to life.

Here is the link to Ila’s music page on her website: https://www.ilabarker.com/music/listennow

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