Corey Payette

Corey Payette named new Artistic Director of Urban Ink

Posted on Posted in News

Dear urban ink friends and supporters,

After 7 years as Artistic Director, Diane Roberts is leaving urban ink to pursue her individual practice, passing the torch to Corey Payette.

Corey Payette is proud of his Oji-cree heritage from Northern Ontario and has worked as a playwright, actor, composer, and director across Canada. He founded Raven Theatre Performance Society focusing on new works by Indigenous artists, has worked as an Artistic Associate with Full Circle: First Nations’ Performance, Educations Coordinator with the Talking Stick Festival, and produced the Moccasin Trek tours, facilitating 100 workshops for over 5000 youth in schools around BC. This past April, Corey assisted Yvette Nolan and Sarah Garton Stanley with a two tier project, The Summit at the Banff Centre produced by the National Arts Centre – English Theatrethe Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, and the Luminato Festival. In 2015, Corey will be the Associate Producer of The Study – a two week investigation into the broad spectrum of the Indigenous body of work being created within Canada’s borders.

As a playwright, Corey’s work has been developed at the Vancouver Playhouse, Firehall Arts Centre, Western Canada Theatre, Arts Club Theatre, and Raven Theatre. His second original musical “Children of God” is currently in development. Corey’s acting credits include the world premiere of the musical ‘Beyond Eden’ at Theatre Calgary/Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ at theVancouver Playhouse, three summers at the Chemainus Theatre Festival, and toured the Yukon with Gwaandak Theatre as the lead in their world premier production ‘JUSTICE’ at the Yukon Arts Centre and was also presented at the National Arts Centre for their Northern Scene Festival.

Corey holds a B.F.A. in music from York University, composed the film score to the documentary AMIN AMIR (OMNI TV) and is on the Board of Directors of Vancouver Native Health Society providing mental, physical, and spiritual relief to Aboriginal people on the DTES, Vancouver, BC.


“The Board of Directors of urban ink production society is pleased to announce the appointment of Corey Payette as Artistic Director. Corey’s passionate artistic vision for Urban Ink is one that inspired and excited the Board. There is no doubt that the Urban Ink community is in for a vibrant future under his leadership. Our bright future is due to the exceptional leadership of Diane Roberts, who crafted a process of collaborating between Indigenous and Intercultural artists, mentored emerging artists, and developed new work by diverse artists for the past 7 years. Urban Ink will now be championed and built-upon by Corey Payette (Artistic Director) and Kate Declerck (General Manager). We’ve brought these two together to lead a powerful team of creative game-changers in the world of indigenous and intercultural performance. Urban Ink looks forward to connecting with you all at our AGM in the fall where we will have a chance to gather, reflect on Urban Ink’s history, and share ideas for the future!” – Jennifer Reddy, Board President


Since June 2014, urban ink also has a new General Manager – Kate Declerck, who is specialized in not-for-profit organizational management and arts-based community program development. Over the last 15 years she has based herself in Amsterdam (NL), Montreal (CA), London (UK), and Brussels (BE) and has travelled to over 30 countries worldwide as former Programs Officer of Jeunesses Musicales International and Executive Director of the JMI Foundation, responsible for the development of international youth music programs. The opportunity to learn from artists and cultural organizations within diverse socio-cultural contexts and observe how cultural resources can be applied to achieve a broad range of community development objectives (including peace and conflict resolution, public education, intercultural dialogue, and tackling discrimination) has fueled her dedication to work at the intersection between art and activism. Since relocating to Vancouver in 2012, Kate worked as Production Coordinator on the film ‘Maleficent’ (2014) and founded Creativa International, organizing the creation of the 100ft ‘Word to Your Motherland’ mural and hip hop education tour in Surrey BC. Kate holds a Bachelor of Music from McGill University and a Masters in Cultural Management from Northumbria University (UK).

Please join us in welcoming Corey Payette and Kate Declerck to the team!

urban ink proudly produces indigenous and inter-cultural performance on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Watauth First Nations.