COREY PAYETTE | Urban Ink Artistic Director
Corey Payette has been the Artistic Director of Urban Ink since 2014. He is proud of his Oji-Cree heritage from Northern Ontario, and has worked across Canada as a playwright, actor, composer, and director. He is the Artistic Director of Urban Ink (Vancouver, BC), past Artist-in-Residence with English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre, and is the founding Artistic Director of Raven Theatre (Vancouver, BC), focusing on new works by Indigenous artists. Corey has worked as an Artistic Associate with Full Circle: First Nations’ Performance and The Indigenous Cycle at the National Arts Centre, an investigation into the broad spectrum of the Indigenous body of work being created within Canada’s borders. This cycle resulted in the creation of a new department of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre, which launched its inaugural season in 2019.
As a theatre creator, his original musical Children of God (book/music/lyrics and direction) was developed through the Collaborations in English Theatre at the National Arts Centre, Vancouver Playhouse, Firehall Arts Centre, Western Canada Theatre, Arts Club Theatre, Urban Ink, Full Circle: First Nations Performance, and Raven Theatre. Children of God had its world premiere in 2017 at The Cultch’s York Theatre, followed by tours to the Mainstage at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, Segal Centre in Montreal, and a return engagement at the York Theatre in Vancouver, followed by a tour of southern British Columbia.
His second musical Les Filles du Roi (music and direction, with co-book/lyrics with Julie McIsaac) was written in English, French, and Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) and had its world premiere in 2018 in Vancouver at the York Theatre, commissioned by Fugue Theatre and produced by Fugue and Raven Theatre, in association with Urban Ink and The Cultch. Sedna (music composition and direction, co-created with Reneltta Arluk and Marshall McMahen) had its world premiere at Caravan Farm Theatre, co-produced by Urban Ink, and will tour to Vancouver in the future. His next original musicals have been commissioned from Bard on the Beach, Musical Stage Company, and the Stratford Festival.
As a director, Children of God, Les Filles du Roi, and Sedna – other credits include: Moonlodge (Urban Ink/NAC English Theatre), associate director for A Christmas Carol (NAC English Theatre 2017 & 2018), and associate director of Indian Arm (Rumble Theatre).
Corey holds a B.F.A. in Music Composition from York University, and composed the film score to the documentary AMIN AMIR (OMNI TV). He is the past Grand Chief of the Board of Directors of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (IPAA) and past board member of Vancouver Native Health Society providing mental, physical, and spiritual relief to Aboriginal people on the DTES (Vancouver, BC).
He has two musical albums “The Music from Children of God” & “The Music from Les Filles du Roi”, both scripts have been published through Scirocco Drama, and he’s released the piano/vocal songbook to Children of God. He is the 2017 recipient of the John Hirsch Prize from the Canada Council, has won two Ovation Awards and two Jessie Awards for his writing and directing work. He is grateful to make his home on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, and he acknowledges the past and future Elders of this beautiful land.