Michaela Washburn, Lead Artist

Photograph of Michaela Washburn

Michaela Washburn is a proud Métis artist of Cree, French, Irish, and English ancestry. Hailing from the prairies and now based in North Bay, Michaela feels blessed to be  grounded in ceremony and community-based arts in her work with Aanmitaagzi and Big Medicine Studio. Her pronouns are she/her/they/them, and he/him when they’re in drag.

Washburn’s practice spans theatre, television, film, spoken word, writing, hosting, clown, improvisation, stand-up and workshop facilitation. Select theatre credits include: This Is How We Got Here (Native Earth), Almighty Voice and His Wife (Soulpepper), Guarded Girls (Tarragon/Green Light Arts), Grace (Nightwood).

An award-winning artist for her multifaceted performance as Métis leader Louis Riel in Confederation & Riel (VideoCabaret/Soulpepper), Michaela has also garnered multiple nominations including the 2023 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize, the 2021 and 2018 Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Award and the 2011 K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Theatre. A published author, Michaela’s performance and written work has been shared internationally at festivals and theatres in Wales, Aruba and across Canada and the United States. Select film and television credits include: Skymed, Pretty Hard Cases, Burden of Truth, Just One Word, and The River You Step In. Having won the The 2021 Sharon Enkin Plays for Young People Award for the play she co-wrote with Carrie Costello and Joelle Peters titled Frozen River, Washburn looks forward to their next collaboration, Going Under.