We are over-the-moon to open our 12th PlaySmelter Northern New Works Festival alongside partners that share our passion, vision and commitment to the voices and stories of Northern Ontarian artists. PlaySmelter’24 is delighted to host in-person Tova Arbus, Artistic Director of Sault Ste. Maries’ Fringe North and Jessie Bergeron, Artistic Director of Timmins’ new Tamarack Festival which debuts this year. Donna Marie Barrett, Artistic Director of Thunders Bay’s Superior North Festival will join us virtually.

Please join May 2 from 6-8PM at the Sudbury Theatre Centre to meet Jessie and Tova and share in our celebration of an announcement that will encourage impact and we believe, ensure the prominence of Northern ON stories and storytellers created for the stage.

Please RSVP here.

An active practitioner and voice within the Northern Ontario theatre/arts communities, Tova Arbus is committed to the vibrant creativity that is developed when engaging with diverse performers, practitioners, and audiences. Completing both a BFA cum laude (Laurentian University), and post-graduate studies in Public Relations and Event Management (Sault College), Tova has successfully merged her passions for creating amazing theatre & building community-engaged arts and culture events. She continues to be heavily involved in many local/regional productions and events. Tova is committed to prioritizing justice, equity, equality, diversity and inclusion in any and all work that she does. She believes in doing the necessary work to centre diverse voices, hold space for those who are fighting for equity and equality, and stand in solidarity with folks who are marginalized, criminalized and othered. She is co-founder and current President of the Fringe North Multi-Arts Festival in Sault Ste. Marie, ON., and frequently supports the creation and development of many different arts and culture initiatives. 

Jessie Bergeron is a multidisciplinary theatre artist from Timmins and the Artistic and Executive Director of the Tamarack Arts Association. After graduating from the University of Ottawa with a BA in Theatre Studies, she trained in acting at George Brown College. She has since branched out into playwriting, directing and producing. She is a proud mama of two and a teacher-mom to many more. As a mother-artist, a feminist, a queer woman, and a person who lives with mental illness, she works to create space for these communities and explore these lived experiences through her art.

Listen to CBC’s Morning North with Markus Schwabe interview PlaySmelter Artistic Director Lisa O’Connell, Fringe North Artistic Director Tova Arbus and Tamarack Festival Artistic Director Jessie Beregeron.