RBC Horizon Emerging Artists Program

This professional development program has been created as part of the Citadel’s commitment to Edmonton’s 35//50 Initiative and based on the findings from our recently completed Inclusivity and Diversity audit of the composition of the Citadel’s artists, staff and board over the past 10 seasons (our report was released on September 21, 2020, click here to access).

With the support of the RBC Foundation, and in recognition of our unique COVID-19 circumstances, the Citadel Theatre will offer a residency program to support emerging and early career BIPOC artists that have not been able to see themselves in these artistic creation roles at one of Canada’s largest theatre companies. We want to eliminate barriers by giving four BIPOC artists direct access to our creation spaces and team of professionals, and to help them make contacts within our industry in their chosen practice.

The selected artists will receive a $2,000 honorarium, and a series of opportunities based on their chosen field and interests. These opportunities may include one-on-one and small group mentorship with national leaders, specialized classes, access to space and resources, training and apprenticeship with in-house production staff, and more. We will develop the schedule and scope of training in collaboration with the selected artists' availability over the next 10 months.


MAKRAM AYACHE Directing & Artistic Leadership

"Times are tough. It's hard to see past the opaque fog these days. But each opportunity to work on art truly and earnestly feels like the seeds of a promise. There's always new life after a forest fire." – Makram Ayache

Makram Ayache is a community-engaged theatre artist and educator who splits his time between Edmonton and Toronto. His playwriting currently explores meaningful representations of queer Arab voices and his relationship to Lebanon. He often endeavours to bridge complex and interlocking political struggles to the very intimate and real experiences of the people impacted by them.

Ayache has been nominated for four Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards for his plays Harun (2018) and The Green Line (2019). Most recently, Harun won the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada’s annual Tom Hendry Award in the RBC Emerging Playwright Category. In 2020, Ayache completed Factory Theatre’s Mechanicals Actors’ Enhancement Training in Toronto and co-created and performed in Azimuth Theatre’s “All That Binds Us” in Edmonton.

Currently, his newest play The Hooves Belonged to the Deer is commissioned by the Alberta Queer Calendar Project which will be workshopped and recorded for online public viewing, directed by Peter Hinton, in December 2020.

He is thrilled to be invited to the RBC Horizon Mentorship program with the Citadel Theatre where he will spend intentional time to develop his skills as a director.


Deviani Bonilla (she/her) is emerging as a choreographer, dancer, and collaborator in Amiskwaciwâskahikan, on Treaty 6 Territory. With background on different styles of dance, she has performed as a dancer with the National Folk-Dance Company and Mexican Folk-Dance Company, touring national-wide in her natal México.

As a contemporary dance performer, she has participated in The Collective Personal by Isabelle Schad. Since moving to Canada, she is actively engaging with well-established dance groups in Amiskwaciwâskahikan such as Good Women Dance Collective, Mile Zero Dance Society, and dance groups at the University of Alberta.

With a growing interest in choreography and musicality, Deviani is thrilled to be part of RBC Horizon Emerging Artist Mentorship Program. This opportunity will not only allow her to develop her new choreography but it also represents a gateway to the world of theatre, production, marketing, and all the engineering behind professional productions. She hopes to learn from a variety of artists and to dialogue and reflect on what is the place of choreography and dance as part of a multidisciplinary theatre. ¡Gracias Citadel Theatre!

PATRICIA CERRA Directing & Artistic Leadership

Patricia is thrilled to be joining the Citadel Theatre in this residency program, where she will be diving into her development as a director and expanding her knowledge on artistic leadership. Patricia is a multidisciplinary artist; at present she works as a performer, director, and educator. Her work has taken her to theatres around Canada, where she has worked on over thirty productions.

Patricia has had the pleasure of world premiering many new works and finds great joy in play development. She worked at the Banff Playwrights Lab collaborating with national and international playwrights on over a dozen brand new works. She will be debuting her short play as a part of the Sprouts Festival in 2021. Patricia also serves her community on various committees and initiatives. She completed her training at the Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program and has graduated from the University of Alberta BFA Acting program with Distinction. Patricia has recently been recognized with the Sterling Award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role - Comedy.

Upcoming: she will be directing хлеб as part of Here There Be Night (Workshop West & Theatre Network).

Daniela Fernandez Sound Design

"I'm curious, excited and hopeful to see how these difficult times will inspire artists to think outside of the box and deliver theatre in new and unconventional ways. I'm also feeling committed to continue the conversation for diversity and inclusivity to be fought for in our theatres." -Daniela Fernandez

Daniela Fernandez (she/her) is an emerging Latinx theatre artist based in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). Having recently graduated from Macewan University's Theatre Arts program, she feels fortunate to be working professionally on this land.

Currently, Daniela is interested in devoting her time to figuring out how she can lead and create space for underrepresented voices in her work and expanding herself as a multi-disciplinary artist. She is thrilled to be taking on this mentorship in sound design, merging her passion for music into her work as a theatre creative. Daniela hopes to be able to offer herself on and off the stage, as well as add her own flare to her designs.

Select acting credits include until the next breath (Catalyst Theatre); Scenes From The Sidewalk (Plain Jane Theatre Company); Get Happy! (Plain Jane Theatre Company); A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre); Canada The Musical (Carter-Ryan Productions); The Drowsy Chaperone (Citadel Young Company); and Working It Out (WorkPlays School Program).

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