Renowned Mi’kmaq actor Cathy Elliott killed in crash - APTN NewsAPTN News

Renowned Mi’kmaq actor Cathy Elliott killed in crash



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APTN News
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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4 Responses to “Renowned Mi’kmaq actor Cathy Elliott killed in crash”

  1. Mfield@darearts.com'
    Marilyn Field October 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

    Cathy’s untimely death leaves so many of us shocked, shalen and already missing her unstoppable positive energy and creative spirit. As DAREarts’ Indigenous artist-educator, she inspired thousands of Indigenous kids to find their voice through their own creativity and pride in their culture while also inspiring hundreds more nonIndigenous kids with respect for our traditional Canadian ways. Hers are big shoes to fill…but, for her legacy, we will.

    • Jacqueleneh@gmail.com'
      JMHunt October 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

      So sorry beyond words. Offer prayers, my heart’s energy on the wind in honor to Cathy. Deeply saddened, though I never met her personally. Honor her work.

  2. dccrcboard@gmail.com'
    Debbie Sipkema October 18, 2017 at 12:47 am #

    The Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle lost one of our founding members. A great mentor and guidance during our first three years. Our last conversation was a medicine wheel garden that we were building in Orangeville. Our hope is to have it as a memorial of all her hard work and dedication during our growing pains. Thank you Cathy.

  3. tulugakspirit2016@outlook.com'
    Stan Nochasak October 18, 2017 at 7:15 pm #

    Over time I have shared this story which is NOT mine. I am more than infinitely sure Cathy is saying things like, “Let me tell you about Leslie, let me tell you about this person and that person, and also is going on and on, even acting them out with more than pride, honour, love, sacred humility. I am more than sure one of her first duties is to meet William Shakespeare and tell him without words but by mere feelings alone, on every side, her adoring love of him and his works, to help combine the native and the rest together, more than infintely greater than any cement heart here in this world, shining ever so iridiscently, gleaming more than the sun on high above us all, shedding her pure and limpid love over us all, indefinitely and completely, til we all meet again, soul to soul, without the trappings of this world. SPIRITUALSPEED Cathy SPIRITUALSPEED!!…

    Condolences, prayers, song, First Nation’s Hand Drum Beat, spiritual love unto all her loved ones, near and far…! I can still see her going around the Theatre Stage, with sacred Native Smudge Bowl, filled with earthy, sacred Medicines of Sage, Cedar, Tobacco and SweetGrass, burning from its embers, vindicating it rising, twirling, twinning, curls of grey smoke, wafting about the smell everywhere, cleansing the negative ions, soothing the souls, burnishing out of the spirits from above, with such a gentle, gentle, quiet soul, ever mindful of all those who crossed the smoke, so very, very peaceful as she dawdle ’bout all that needed to be done. I still see her raising her chin with solemn, spiritual pride, as if her soul was looking far, far in the nearly unseen distance and perhaps beyond too, her feeling going everywhere with such imbibed gentleness and sacred love. She gave her heart to song in a very great, natural way. Her heart would be greatly, greatly filled as she sang every time, as if almost to an extent she would fall over, giving of herself so exceedingly much. She held a great deal of pride, due to her background as a Native and Indigeneous descent, she was very, very clear about that, as if always insisting that such a hallowed and sacred spirit was made known to all, wherever she went. She cared for the children a great, great, ineffably yet infinitely more than clear and limpid, deal, wanting to make sure they were always safe, happy and free to express, to be their natural selves, be innately creative, forever always!!! I think she cried for them, imbibe in her and them a great, great deal of bountiful and genuine care, tears, in a symbolic, Otherworldly way are pearls of the soul and she had many, many, many pearls, pure and sanctified, neverending. She is one our Ancestors now, amid the Old Ones, singing, drumming, dancing, still acting on a whole different kind of stage now. Her voice is as a thunder Up On High with the self-same kind of pride now made native to all. She will never stop, she will keeping going. We will meet again. And it will be an ineffably, great, great joy upon another. We miss you and love you aboundingly, preponderingly much, always, indefinitely and completely. We’la-liln Cathy for you, your life, all your contributions, all your work efforts, great loving, gracious, ever fellow friendly efforts!! You made a lintel of a great spiritual mark in this world, on our human hearts, marks which are as footsteps leading as the Straight Path where we will meet again. We pray for your rising efforts in the Next, Spirit World, pray for us too, we still need you. I know you are with us like light is o’er crystal, salted waters of the sea, a light that will never ever stop. We’la-lin wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Cathy Elliott!

    [“The daughter, when she found out that her mother had past away, could not understand how she was going to go through life, in this nether world, in through this contingent and cruel world, a mere nothing, a semblance of reality like a photo. The daughter did not want to live on, she wanted to go to the Next World to be with her mom whom she loved more than self-obviously, more than self-clearly. But her husband, who was a very prominent figure among so many countless people and souls, went to her, knowing, ahead of time, how she was feeling, what she was thinking and knowing, according to her capacity and sensitivity, what to say and not to say. Such is couples, particularly married couples. Her husband had said these words. That her mother, who was of no outstanding figure, had no real outstanding qualities, had no huge role in the world, unhesitantly, untimidly went to Three Great Souls in the Spirit World, in the Next World. And they ran from lowest, middle and highest. Her mother went to the first great soul and said, “Let me tell you about my daughter,” and she went on and on about her daughter, without any hesitancy but was proud, very proud of her daughter, of all her accomplishments, of reaching her goals and so on. This first great soul got tired and said that maybe the mother should, in the Next World, go to the next great soul that was higher and say the same thing, do the same thing and so, again without any hesitancy, did just that. She went to the next great soul and said, “Let me tell you about my daughter,” and she went on and on about her daughter. After some time, this particular great soul also got a bit tired and said that maybe she should go to the greatest soul of all, above all, and do the same thing, say the same things. And so, without hesitancy again, went to this particular and greatest soul and said, “Let me tell you about my daughter.””]

    FOR CATHY: i have alone ceremoniously sang this song on her behalf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7ykIYXQnqw&feature=youtu.be