Celebrated Mi’kmaq actor, playwright, and composer Cathy Elliott was killed Sunday while walking near her home in Alliston, Ont. 104 km northwest of Toronto.
Elliott, 60, is a member of the Sipekne’katik Mi’kmaq First Nation in Nova Scotia.
Many sectors of the Canadian Theatre scene are reacting to her death.
In a release from the National Arts Centre, Kevin Loring, artistic director for Indigenous theatre said that he was looking forward to working with Elliott.
“I am completely shocked at Cathy’s sudden and tragic passing,” Loring said in the release. “Cathy was such a joy to work with … she was a bright light in the rehearsal room and a gentle and generous soul who cared deeply about sharing Indigenous stories.
“I was so looking forward to working with her more as we build this new Indigenous Theatre here at the NAC. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.”
On Twitter, messages of condolences.
“A great hole has been left in our hearts,” wrote Brenda Norton, director at Dare, a theatre company where Elliott had worked. “We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Cathy Elliott.”
“Yesterday Canada lost one of its most gifted musical theatre writers,” wrote Mel Atkey, a musical theatre writer from London. “RIP Cathy Elliott and condolences to her partner Leslie Arden.”
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, Elliott was walking along Line 6 north of Hwy 89 when a northbound vehicle struck her.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
No charges have been laid. The OPP said the investigation continues.
Elliott’s screenplay for the DAREarts documentary Fill My Hollow Bones was narrated by Graham Green. She wrote and directed The Talking Stick, the first all-aboriginal musical in the history of the Charlottetown Music Festival.
According to her bio, the finale of The Talking Stick was featured at Will and Kate’s Royal Visit to PEI in 2011 and a concert version was presented at the Truth and Reconciliations Commission’s hearings in Halifax.
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