Government of Yukon

August 16, 2016

Magnetic North Theatre Festival enjoys huge success in Yukon

WHITEHORSE—Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival hosted in Whitehorse last June proved to be a tremendous success that contributed to increased opportunities for employment, education and networking for Yukon’s creative sector and beyond.

“The Government of Yukon is proud of the local talent who contributed to the success of this highly acclaimed national theatre festival here at home,” Minister of Tourism and Culture Elaine Taylor said.

Attendance at Magnetic North shows reached 83 per cent capacity with six of 11 shows selling out completely. Overall attendance at the festival, including shows, industry events and free activities, exceeded 7,500 people.

“Whitehorse 2016 will be a Festival to remember,” Magnetic North artistic executive director Brenda Leadlay said. “It was the first time Magnetic North ventured north of 60° and proved that there is a keen appetite for Canadian theatre even in small cities. Everyone at the festival is truly grateful for the warm welcome we received from not only the Whitehorse arts community but also from the people of Whitehorse. I’m sure it will go down as one of the best times in the festival’s short history. It was truly a unique and thrilling northern experience!"

Nakai Theatre’s Dogtown: the Musical was one local production which sold out early in the festival.

“Dogtown: the Musical is a Yukon story with universal themes, great music and lots of laughs,” playwright Roy Ness said. “The tale of Trevor ‘the death row dog’ tells us a lot about ourselves and our relationship with our canine masters. The 2016 Magnetic North Theatre Festival was a wonderful, unique opportunity for the premiere of Dogtown: the Musical to be presented to Yukoners and to a wider national – and international – audience in an atmosphere of enthusiastic energy.”

Magnetic North also provided theatre artists with opportunities to network and build relationships with visiting presenters who have experience in national and global theatre markets. There were 179 delegates who attended the industry series.

"Magnetic North opened lots of doors for Open Pit Theatre,” co-artistic director Geneviève Doyon said. “As a young company, we were not only able to connect with presenters from around the world but also with inspiring artists from other parts of Canada that could become creative collaborators one day."

The Yukon government contributed $165,000 towards the festival. Funding helped to hire local producers, a production manager, outreach coordinator, technical director, publicist and other event coordinators this past year.

Learn more:

Magnetic North Theatre Festival


See backgrounder and photo.


Michael Edwards
Cabinet Communications

Catherine Wood
Communications, Tourism and Culture

Backgrounder – Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival

• Total attendance at all events including 11 Magnetic North shows, industry events and free activities was 7,835.

• Total box office revenues were $49,710. Total Made in the Yukon box office was $21,770.

• Average attendance for all 11 shows was 69.3 per cent capacity. This is about five to eight per cent above the average attendance.

• Overall attendance for the performances was at 83 per cent capacity.

• The eight Magnetic North Theatre Festival (national) shows were at 77.3 per cent capacity. Six of these were at 94 per cent capacity.

• The three Made in the Yukon shows were at 97 per cent capacity.

• There were 3,615 tickets processed. This includes 375 comps for sponsors, volunteers and participating artists.

News Release #16-290