Kane, Margo Gwendolyn

Margo Gwendolyn Kane, actor, singer, dancer (b at Edmonton, Alta, 21 Aug 1951). Kane, who is of mixed Cree/Salteaux/Blackfoot ancestry, trained in acting, singing and dance at Grant McEwan College in Edmonton, the BANFF CENTRE, and Circle in the Square Theatre, New York City.

Widely considered the "mother of Canadian native performance arts," Kane is an interdisciplinary performing artist - actor, dancer, singer, writer, director, choreographer - who also teaches and works in community development. She is the founding (1992) artistic director of Full Circle: First Nations Performance (Vancouver).

Best known for her one-woman show, Moonlodge, her numerous performance art installations include The River-Home (Vancouver, 1996); Memories Springing/Waters Singing (Banff Centre, 1992); Princess Minnehaha at the Tikki-Tikki Lounge (Vancouver, 1992); and Reflections in the Medicine Wheel (Festival du Théâtre des Amériques, Montréal, 1987). Her performances blend traditional ritual with storytelling, song, poetry, dance and the latest installation technology. They serve as a vehicle for self-expression, as a monument to the history and cultural traditions of native people, and as a bridge to gap the two cultures. She has won critical and mainstream audience acclaim in major cities in Canada, the United States and Australia.

Moonlodge (premiere: Native Earth, Toronto, 1990; toured Australia, 1997) evolved from a piece of oral storytelling into Kane's first written script. The play explores the traumas suffered by young natives forcibly removed to residential schools, and possible ways of healing. Memories Springing/Waters Singing, a highly structured, environmental installation/performance piece, emphasizes ritual elements and audience participation.

Margo Kane won a Canadian Achievement Award from the National Capital Commission, Ottawa, in 1991.