Kelsey Rideout moved back to her hometown Ottawa from Toronto a few years ago to pursue her true passions: art, theatre and advocacy. By moving back to Ottawa, Kelsey saw not only an opportunity to reconnect with her family but also to create a unique theatre and production company, inspired by her personal experiences, social and political innovation and by Ottawa’s particular dynamic between art and politics. She launched her company E T E R N I T Y in the spring of 2017 on Earth Day, with a sold-out performance of original poetry and monologues at Origin Studio in the ByWard Market.
Through a multidisciplinary approach, Kelsey brings a holistic vision to her theatre and production company and created a unique artistic hub. The three pillars of the company, artistry, education and innovation, aim at connecting and highlighting literary work, artistic performances, self-expression and creating a dialogue to address modern-day issues such as oppression, violence and the environment.
Kelsey explains that she has always been at a crossroad between her need to express herself artistically and her desire to be a source of positive change. During her International Development Studies, she had a keen interest in human rights and global crisis. But she soon discovered that in order to make a meaningful difference in the world, she had to turn her efforts inwards before being able to impact the world around her. She embarked on a journey of self discovery, healing, expression through art, theatre and performance, and redirected her energy and focus on creative writing and poetry. Kelsey is a published writer and has studied multidisciplinary theatre, spoken word and creative writing at various schools and universities, and attended a year-long fellowship in social innovation at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.
Kelsey is spending her summer months putting the finishing touches on a short experimental film about her father titled Love Darryl, which she will debut at film festivals, and on anXiety womXn, a self expression piece which will she will perform at Planet Earth this fall. Kelsey is exploring adding piano improvisations in her theatre work and is attending a music lab at the IMontreal Contemporary Music Lab in August. She is also creating a dialogue between E T E R N I T Y and Ottawa’s artistic community and strengthening the company’s oversight by recruiting board members for her company. Those interested can keep an eye on E T E R N I T Y’s social media platforms for an official Board of Directors call-out.
For Kelsey, the foundation of art is built through introspection of self. It was important to her that E T E R N I T Y not only be at the forefront of the discussions surrounding social issues, but also contribute meaningfully to an individual’s journey of self-expression and healing. Kelsey looks forward to securing a permanent space for E T E R N I T Y and collaborating with others in order to create a series of healing workshops for young women and non binary folks aged 18 to 23. Through physical, mental and spiritual well being, healing through self-expression and artistic nurturing and growth, the workshops will cultivate the inner artist and support multidisciplinary solo creations. Although the workshop format is still being developed, E T E R N I T Y hopes to launch their workshop program by the end of 2017.