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April 15, 2011

Temagami’s Sandra Laronde Honoured

Sandra Laronde, whose family lives in Temagami, identifies herself as being from the Teme-Augama-Anishnaabe people there. Ten years ago she formed Red Sky Productions – a contemporary Dance, Theatre & Music company. The success of Red Sky has been remarkable leading to many awards. On June 1, 2011 she will receive an honorary doctorate at the Convocation at Trent University. The following is  the citation for her recognition. 

 Sandra Laronde 

“Internationally-acclaimed, award-winning director, producer, choreographer, performer and creative leader Ms. Laronde created Red Sky, Canada’s leading company for contemporary world Indigenous performance in dance, theatre and music. Since its inception in 2000, Red Sky performances have captured the imagination of close to 350,000 people from six countries on four continents. Her world stage line-up includes the multi-award winning Tono at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad; opening for the 2010 World Expo Shanghai in China; 2008 Beijing Cultural Olympiad; and the International Arts and Culture Festival in Inner Mongolia, among others. Currently, Ms. Laronde is also the Director of Aboriginal Arts at The Banff Centre, the globally respected arts and cultural institution.” 

Sandra Laronde 

Sandra’s mother Barbara lives in Temagami as does her businessman brother David, a geophysical consultant and leader of The Deep Water musical group.Sandra’s sister Mary works at the Union of Ontario Indians in North Bay. Sandra has great affection for Temagami and visited in November for her mother’s 80th birthday.The  Raven Stole the Sun production was performed in Temagami a couple of times 2 years ago. 

On her blog Sandra thanks Temagami for a lot of the inspiration “that comes from the beautiful vast land that I am from. I am from 1,600 islands, 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) of shoreline, fresh and deep water. This is the place that my parents are from, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, my great-great grandparents and so on down this incredible bloodline.” 

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Toronto and studied Spanish Language & Literature for a year in Granada ,Spain. 

Red Sky's Tono

Red Sky performed at the Capital Centre in North Bay in 2005 and family & friends joined her there. Her father’s sister Jeanette Lalonde is married to the late Albert Lalonde, Grey Owl’s grandson and Sandra wrote an introduction in the catalogue for the major art exhibition  about Temagami’s Angele Egwuna, Grey Owl’s first wife that ran in North Bay & Temagami in 2005-2006. 

Red Sky opened the 18th Annual Natural Aboriginal Awards on March 18th and appeared on APTN & Global on April 9th 2011. The company will perform at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York April 15-16 2011. The Great Mountain will perform at the Barroquisimo Festival in Puebla, Mexico on April 27, 2011. 

Red Sky's Raven Stole the Sun


The new family theatre dance piece called The Great Mountain is scheduled for presentation in 2011 across Canada and Red Sky’s 10th Anniversary Gala is in preparation.  A new dance creation between Red Sky & New Zealand’s Black Grace is also planned.  In September they will be on the road again so look for a location near you or schedule one by checking their website.  www.redskyperformance.com where lots of other information on Red Sky is available. 

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