Yolanda Bonnell

Creating from your heart and your voice

It is important for the youth to learn how to use their voices in a world that tells them to be quiet. I think that self and original creation is one of the first forms of creation that young artists should learn. Centering your voice and your story is a gateway into a broader spectrum and way of creation. In the industry, it is difficult for some to hear and see stories that are self representative. Offering creation tools such as writing exercises and creation exercises offers young artists a road map on how to storyboard, put things together and create their own work.

Yolanda Bonnell (She/They) is a Bi/Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe, South Asian mixed storyteller. Originally from Fort William First Nation, ON, her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. She is Co-artistic leader of manidoons collective, that she runs with Michif (Métis) artist, Cole Alvis. In February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille while the published book was shortlisted for a Governor General Literary Award. In 2022, her play White Girls in Moccasins, was produced at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as well as at the frank theatre (“Vancouver”). Yolanda has taught/facilitated at York University and Sheridan College and proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors. 

Select theatre performance credits include: Narrator/Bear son in Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/ Gállábártnit (Signal Theatre/Soundstreams – Dora nominated), Valerie in The Unnatural and Accidental Women (National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre), Ipruq/Atugauq in The Breathing Hole (Stratford Festival), Fanny/Roberta in Treasure Island (Stratford Festival), Theresa in The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre).

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