PuSh Blog

PuSh 2022 Moving Ahead Led by a Collaborative Leadership Team

August 24, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that Gabrielle Martin is joining PuSh to lead programming and community initiatives for both the 2022 and 2023 festivals. The 2022 festival program will take place from January 20 to February 6, 2022 and will include work presented with our long-standing partners such as The Dance Centre, Theatre Replacement, Music on Main, Touchstone Theatre, The Firehall Arts Centre, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, and others.

Gabrielle Martin. Photo by Jeremiah Hughes

Martin joins Dr. Margo Kane and Jason Dubois, in the newly formed PuSh Collaborative Leadership Team, which will manage the organization and lead the 2022 festival, while the organization continues its structural review process and evolution throughout the coming 18 months.

Martin brings to PuSh international connections and Canadian relationships in contemporary circus and dance and over a decade of experience in performing arts presentation. She notes: “As voices across the performing arts industry question a return to “normal”, it is a crucial time to nurture the type of innovation and dialogue at the core of PuSh’s mission. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do so as part of a shared leadership model that exemplifies a commitment to collaboration and decolonial practices.”

Gabrielle Martin’s appointment comes as a result of an inclusive search process led by Jeanne LeSage (LeSage Arts Management) and a committee comprised of PuSh board and staff members, all of whom bring a breadth of experience in the arts community. The search process and the creation of the collaborative leadership team are part of the larger restructuring initiatives and the PuSh board’s overarching goals:

  • To create a climate of healing and wellness for the PuSh Festival and its stakeholders.
  • To begin transformation towards a responsible, equitable, and accountable organization.
  • To get back to the business of giving cultural workers meaningful employment that enables delivering excellence in the performing arts.

We know that the 2022 PuSh Festival will look different. The arts sector is rebuilding after the global COVID-19 pandemic, the impacts felt from the murders of George Floyd and the tragedies faced by Indigenous communities as the sector reckons with the impacts of systemic racism. We are taking time to transform and realign PuSh as an organization, reimagining all aspects of the Society including but not limited to our leadership, staffing structure, and the ways in which we engage our community. As an organization serving many different communities, such as artists, patrons, volunteers, partners, and more, we want to ensure these connections are maintained and strengthened in 2022 as we rebuild toward the 2023 PuSh Festival and beyond.

For more information on the search process, 2022 Festival planning or the ongoing organization review, please reach out to Jason Dubois at 604-605-8284 ext. 102. The Board of Directors can be reached by emailing president@pushfestival.ca.

All six search committee members are cultural workers and members of the local arts community. Collectively the members of the committee represented performers, writers, designers, directors, arts administrators, stage managers, and cultural bureaucrats. The committee also included representation from emerging artists, Indigenous persons, persons of colour and a balance of male and female identifying individuals as well as queer representation.

Gabrielle Martin is a cultural producer, performance curator and arts manager. Recent career highlights include working as Festival Manager with the Vancouver International Dance Festival and as Producer and Tour Manager with the aerial-dance company Corporeal Imago. Gabrielle has a BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University (Montréal), a Certificate in Circus Dramaturgy from the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (Châlons-en-Champagne), and an MA in Arts and Cultural Management from Rome Business School. She was a 2021 Why Not Theatre Cultural Leadership Fellow and is currently a Global Fellow of the International Society for the Performing Arts. As a contemporary dance and circus artist, Gabrielle performed over 1,400 shows internationally with Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK – The First Flight and Cavalia, participated in choreographic residencies in Belgium, Sweden and France, and presented her work in the UK, US and across Canada.