Le Théâtre français de Toronto
Written by Karine Ricard, Artistic Director
Be curious, be bold, keep an open mind and stay young at heart. Years ago, when I was in theatre school, I had a teacher who would ask us every class, “What’s your vision of the world? You say you want to be an artist, then you need to figure out what kind of world you wish to live in.” I have to admit, I didn’t comprehend what she meant at the time. It was only years later that it became clear to me that being an artist would come with some responsibility and sacrifice. I was a story teller and if I disagreed or didn’t like what the world looked like, I had to tell a better story, I had to imagine a different scenario, one that would be satisfying to me, my vision of the world.
I moved from Montreal to Toronto in 2004 and one of the first things I did was to see Guy Mignault, at the Theatre francais and introduced myself. I had heard that there was a French theatre but was unfamiliar with Toronto’s Theatre terrain. Throughout the years I’ve been a part of many projects at the TfT and for every single one of them, I’ve felt this sense of community, it felt like I was part of a family. Indeed, there is a tenacious and courageous spirit that fuels this collective of Artists. Today, I feel like the kid that grew up in that family. It is a tremendous honor to be in this position and is a reflection on the community that has given me so much love and support. I’m looking forward to building on the foundations that have come before, with the same love for the Art.
My biggest hopes for the future of TfT is to shape a platform for local artists to grow, to continue to produce shows for a broad audience, to showcase Artists of Diversity. This is the time now, we have the ability now, to create spaces of awareness and understanding. We should no longer fear the constructs of the past and should wedge ourselves into a position of outreach and courage. Perhaps give a new generation a chance to emerge as something greater than ourselves and together, mold the future for the French Theatre in Toronto.