Brendan Healy named Canadian Stage’s new artistic director

Former Buddies in Bad Times and Magnetic North Festival head returns to Toronto to head up one of Canada's largest not-for-profit theatre companies


Brendan Healy takes over as the new artistic director of Toronto’s Canadian Stage, one of the country’s largest not-for-profit theatre companies. Former artistic director for Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and current artistic director, performing arts for the City of Brampton, Healy takes up this new position after the resignation of Matthew Jocelyn and will begin August 7. 

Jocelyn was the previous artistic and general director for Canadian Stage up until June and had stepped down after nine seasons. An international search for a new A.D., led by the Canadian Stage board and executive team, was then conducted to fill the position.

Healy, a Montreal native, took a three-year break from Toronto in 2015 after being at Buddies in Bad Times for six seasons, where he directed acclaimed, uncompromising shows like Blasted and Pig as well as launched initiatives to promote the creation of original queer performance works. In those three years, Healy left Toronto to go back to school and get his master’s degree in international arts management. Afterwards he became artistic director at Ottawa’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival, and then the Rose Theatre in Brampton.

“Part of  [this] commitment includes continuing to diversify the voices within the company and to ensuring that Canadian Stage is an authentic reflection of our country,” Healy said in a statement from Canadian Stage. 

Among other awards, Healy was named best director in Toronto as voted by the readers of NOW.

Meanwhile, other theatre companies like Soulpepper are still in search of an artistic director after Albert Schultz stepped down as well as their executive director Leslie Lester. Luminato Festival artistic director Josephine Ridge also suddenly resigned last week.

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