Lisa L’Heureux

#CouncilSpotlight – Lisa L’Heureux

Jennifer Clark

Photo credit: Pink Monkey Studios

Lisa L’Heureux: Imparting Meaning through the Senses

The Ottawa Arts Council supports artists and arts organizations through leadership, guidance and the provision of opportunities to advance our local creative potential.

Our series #CouncilSpotlight presents stories and experiences of Arts Council members and art award recipients.

Lisa L’Heureux received the RBC Emerging Artist Award in 2015.

Where are you from? Are you from the Ottawa area?

I am originally from Aylmer, but I have lived in Ottawa for 10 years.

How did you get involved in the Ottawa arts community?

I started to involve myself in the local artistic community when I moved back to the region in 2008, following the completion of my studies at UBC in Vancouver.

How would you describe your artistic practice/discipline?

In my theatre work, I wish to create visual celebrations or memories on the stage that encourage a connection or exchange between the stage and the audience. I place great importance upon research, analysis and reflection. I love the idea of leaving the beaten path, of working slowly and over a long period of time. I want to create theatre that stimulates meaning and the senses. I am attracted to works of art and artistic processes that leave the possibility for accidental discoveries and that focus on fragility. I am always engaged by a strong story, a creation that has a feeling of urgency- to be created, to be spoken, to be described, to encounter the Other.

What impact has your involvement with the arts/the Ottawa arts community had on your life?

My approach has been influenced by many collaborations. With the Théâtre Rouge Écarlate, I was able to create more “traditional” theatre productions, but I am also interested in happenings, staged-readings and in situ performances (Poids Plumes, Crisseurs de feu, théâtre français du CNA, Théâtre du Trillium).

Is there a specific moment/situation in your art career that you remember fondly?

The year 2012 was an important turning point in the course of my artistic career, because it was the moment when I decided to completely invest myself in writing and creating for the theatre. Before then, I was a freelance artist creating commissioned work. Once I made that decision, I started my company, the Théâtre Rouge Écarlate, and created something that eventually became the Poids Plumes. It was an enormous risk, and still a bit dizzying, but now, I could not see myself creating any other way.

Do you have any advice for artists in the Ottawa community or artists in general?

Work by necessity, look for the essential, be exacting and rigorous in everything that you do, trust in the intelligence of people, cultivate your ability to be fascinated and your capacity to listen.

What are you currently working on?

I am always working on many projects at the same time, and assuming different roles for each. Among the number of upcoming projects, I am currently collaborating to the creation of the Tapage et autres bruits sourds, which focuses on the contrast between noise and silence, as well as promoting the Poids Plumes, which we will be presenting at the NAC in celebration of World Theatre Day.

What was it like to receive an award from the Ottawa Arts Council? How did it impact your career?

Each day, I have the privilege to devote myself to my art. A lot of what I do happens in the shadows, never far from obstacles, so winning the award encouraged me to follow the dream, the desire and allowed me the means to pursue artistic research and creation. In a more concrete way, recognition by the Ottawa Arts Council allowed me to take time, a luxury for artists, who must work just to survive. With that time, I was able to attend professional development workshops and festivals to nourish my art. Moreover, the award gave me the opportunity to be in closer contact with other artistic fields and to broaden my horizons and my community.

Want to learn more about Lisa and find out where you can see her work? Follow Lisa on Twitter, le Théâtre Rouge Écarlate on Twitter and Facebook, les Poids Plumes on Twitter and on Facebook and les Crisseurs de feu anonymes on Facebook.


Nominations for the RBC Emerging Artist Award open February 1, 2018.

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