From KSS to Ottawa

Former KSS graduate Nathan Medd lands top job in Theatre Arts

KSS graduate Nathan Medd will be the National Arts Centre’s managing director of English Theatre.


Kwalikum Secondary School graduate Nathan Medd chose a career in theatre because of his experience in the theatre program at the school, and now he’s landed a coveted management position with Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

“I have the drama school of Kwalikum Secondary School to thank for my career, that was the inciting incident,” said Medd, adding, “the place of experimentation that helped me find myself and my community.”

Medd will become the Managing Director of the National Arts Centre’s (NAC) English Theatre this June.

At KSS Medd said his drama teacher B.J. Christiansen had a big impact on him and a number of other students in the program. Medd had acting roles in many productions and also worked backstage, and said he really felt a sense of acceptance and belonging in the program.

He also performed in a number of Echo Player’s productions and traveled to perform in festivals with the Qualicum Beach theatre company.

After graduation in 1996, Medd went on to a post secondary theatre program at the University of Victoria where he decided he was more suited to producing and management.

Medd held some key positions following his graduation from the Theatre and English departments at UVic: he was house manager at the Belfry Theatre, he was development and operations manager of the Intrepid Theatre (producers of the Victoria Fringe Festival) and managed festival and theatre grants for the BC Arts Council. Medd also co-founded the Metro Studio in downtown Victoria, which remains a bustling venue today.

After success in his many theatre roles, Medd was head-hunted over to the Electric Company Theatre in Vancouver, which he helped become one of the largest touring theatre companies in Western Canada.

With that company he traveled to San Francisco and Montreal, among other destinations, and worked with exceptional artists working at a world class level, he said. His role with the company centered around getting the most out of creative ideas, he said, involving garnering resources through grant writing, and directing funds.

The biggest difference at his new position is scale, he said. Whereas the Electric Company Theatre had about a $1 million dollar annual budget, the NAC’s budget is roughly $8 million and their mandate is a national one.

The NAC opened to the public in 1969, created as a project of the federal government as part of centennial celebrations. Well known for its 61-member National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as for work in each of its performing arts fields, the NAC is the only multidisciplinary, bilingual performing arts centre in North America, and one of the largest in the world.

A couple of Medd’s goals in his role include creating a core group of contracted actors, which will create a greater balance of resources, he said, as well as focusing on the production and premiering of original Canadian scripts.

But most of all he’ll be serving a national mandate to bring Canadian communities together, through the arts.

“I can focus on the role of theatre and art in building communities and building the nation through culture,” he said, “keeping the nation as a connected community.”

Medd said theatre has been many different things to him over the years, but today it’s about the big questions in life similar to Shakespeare’s profound line in Hamlet: To be, or not to be.

“That’s what I get to do every day, is to work in a space where everyone asks what it means to be,” said Medd, “and that is such a privilege.”






Just Posted

Group raising money to stop Parksville supportive housing project

GoFundMe page has $15.2 K for lawyer fees raised since July 8

Hot stretch leaving Parksville Qualicum Beach homeless in need

Manna looks for water, sunscreen donations

District 69 athletes to compete at BC Summer Games

Opening ceremony aims to inspire, delight and entertain

Cycle of Life Tour seeks donations for hospice society

Riders will cycle 200 km to help keep hospice care in motion

Regional trails closed due to fire hazard

The Regional District of Nanaimo is closing trails within its jurisdictions effective… Continue reading

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

Most Read