About Sandra Laronde
Executive & Artistic Director of Red Sky, Sandra Laronde, O.M.C., B.A. (Hon), Hon. LL.D is an accomplished innovator in arts and culture, working as a director, producer, choreographer, program manager, and creative leader. Sandra's vision for Red Sky was to be a leading international company at the forefront of contemporary Indigenous performance, and to make a significant contribution to the artistic vibrancy of Canada and the world. Sandra is originally from the Teme-Augama-Anishnaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario.
Sandra's awards include: 2014 Vital Ideas (Toronto Community Foundation); 2013 Victor Martyn Staunch-Lynch Award for Outstanding Artist in Dance (Canada Council); bestowed with a 2011 Honorary Degree (Hons LL.D) from Trent University; 2011 Expressive Arts Award (Smithsonian Institute); Ontario Good Citizenship Medal; City of Toronto and Toronto Life's "Face the Arts" recipient celebrating Cultural Mavericks; Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in the Arts (Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity); Toronto City Council's Aboriginal Affairs Award, and participated in the Governor-General's Canadian Leadership program that celebrates leaders who make a significant impact on Canada. Through her company, 5 Dora Mavor Moore Awards and nominations have been garnered (2016, 2012, 2010, 2006, 2004), two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, among others.
Currently, Sandra is also a Curator for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra celebrating Canada’s diverse musical landscape in a Signature Project of Canada 150. She will curate and direct a singular concert featuring Canada's Indigenous musical legacy and an image-rich potent experience of dance, video, electro-acoustic and orchestra with 70 musicians at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.
During her nine-year tenure at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Sandra was the Director of Indigenous Arts. She realized her vision to create exceptional programming informed by Indigenous cultures and worldviews, and to contribute to building vibrant Indigenous communities across Canada and worldwide. Substantial growth for Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre was achieved under her leadership including place-based culture and an innovative new approach to programming that raised the artistic ceiling of contemporary Indigenous artistry in Canada. Sandra excelled at bringing world-class faculty to the Centre, and in developing cutting-edge programs involving hundreds of Indigenous artists worldwide.
An invited Speaker to many summits, forums, panels, events, conferences and galas. Most recently, Sandra accepted a Public Member Appointment by the Toronto City Council to serve as a member of the Civic Theatres Toronto Board of Directors. In addition to the new Civic Theatres, she is also appointed to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts Boards of Directors for the purposes of merging theatre operations under the new Civic Theatres Toronto organization. She is also on the Advisory of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Western Arts Alliance. She was on the National Executive Committee for the Governor-General’s Canadian Leadership; Advisor to OCAD University, and the Canada Dance Festival, among others.
Sandra holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto, and studied Spanish Language and Literature overseas at the University of Granada in Spain. In 2011, the Senate of Trent University conferred an Honorary Degree of the Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) with all its rights, privileges and obligations.
Photo: Paula Wilson