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PACT Members Elect New Executive

June 1, 2024

Toronto, Ontario. (June 1, 2024) – The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) is pleased to announce the election of Kathryn Westoll, Sarah Kitz, and the re-election of Evan Klassen as Executive Members of the Board of Directors. Nina Lee Aquino, and Mike Payette, will remain as Executive Members of the Board as Co-Past Presidents. 

President Kathryn Westoll, Geordie Productions Executive Director 

"It is an honour to serve as President of PACT and I am excited to partner with Sarah Kitz, our new VP, as we are very aligned as action and value driven humans - inspired by identifying challenges and strategizing through them. We thank Nina and Mike for their six years of exceptional leadership, stewarding us to where we are now. We will continue to support their work and look forward to working with Brad, our new ED, who understands that although we all run businesses, this industry is people driven. This knowledge must be at the heart of PACT. We want to centre the individuals, recognizing the differences in generation, practice, worldview, and identity, and harnessing those differences to advocate for those who are excluded. I promise we will listen, ask questions and together we will discover what new tools can support the entire membership, and support all of us as individuals navigating the complexity of creating art in this world at this time" says Kathryn Westoll. 

Kathryn Westoll, originally from Toronto, has been the Executive Director of Geordie Productions in Tiotià:ke (colonially known as Montreal) for the past 10 years. Before that, she was the Managing Director of the Toronto Fringe Festival for three years and spent the first 13 years of her career as a stage manager. She stage managed over 70 productions and worked for Tarragon Theatre, Young People’s Theatre, Factory Theatre, Canadian Stage Theatre, and Nightswimming to name a few. Westoll previously served on the PACT board as the HR Committee Chair. She has also served as Treasurer on the board of International Association of Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) for three years, was a member of the Montreal English Theatre Awards Committee (METAC) for three years and served six years on the Quebec Drama Federation’s board. She also supports her daughter’s passion for swimming by sitting as Vice President on the Dorval Swim Club board.

Kathryn has an honours degree from Queen’s University and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s (NTS) Production Design and Technical Arts Program and now teaches and mentors in the areas of stage management, Fringe Festival and Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) touring to the Production Students at NTS.

Vice-President Sarah Kitz, Great Canadian Theatre Company Artistic Director

Sarah Kitz is the Artistic Director of Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC). She is a theatre creator, performer, arts leader and award winning director. Much of her time in theatre has been dedicated to new creation, re-envisioning classical works for contemporary interpretation, and helping to bring underrepresented voices to the stage.

Kitz has participated in the Michael Langham Workshop in Directing at Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival’s Neil Munro Intern Directors Project, and is a member of Directors Lab North in participation with Lincoln Centre. She has worked at Luminato Festival, Shakespeare in the Ruins, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Crow’s Theatre, Canadian Stage, Buddies in Bad Times, Nightwood Theatre, Next Stage Festival, SummerWorks, Pandemic Theatre, The Canadian Music Theatre Project, Studio 180, and more. She has taught and directed at Sheridan College, University of Windsor and Toronto Metropolitan University, mentored with Paprika Festival, and was extensively involved with The A.M.Y. Project, which supports the creative trajectories of young women and non-binary youth in Toronto through arts mentorship.

Hailing from Tkaronto, Kitz now resides with her family on unceded Algonquin Territory and is grateful to be a guest on this beautiful land.

Treasurer Evan Klassen, Executive Director Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre / Grand Theatre

Evan Klassen was born and raised in Winnipeg, and is beyond thrilled to be returning to his hometown and home theatre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, as Executive Director. Following a 15-year stage management career, Evan embarked on a path towards arts leadership with roles of increasing responsibility, including production with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and organizational leadership at Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, BC. Evan is currently the Executive Director at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario.

A steadfast advocate for the arts, Klassen believes in building the sector through volunteerism, and in addition to serving as Treasurer for the PACT he sits on the board of directors for the London Chamber of Commerce. Prior board roles include as director for the BC Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitobans for the Arts, and the BC Interior Community Foundation, as Chair of the Seven Oaks House Museum (Winnipeg’s oldest home), and as a founding member of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society. Klassen is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and has worked coast-to-coast as a stage manager, including at most of Winnipeg’s theatres and at Manitoba Opera. Evan studied Cultural Leadership at the Banff Centre, and is a graduate of the Arts & Cultural Management program at MacEwan University, of Theatre Production at the University of Winnipeg, and from Concord College (now Canadian Mennonite University). In 2019, Klassen was named protégé by his mentor and PACT’s Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award recipient, Camilla Holland.

Co-Past President, Nina Lee Aquino, National Arts Centre – English Theatre Artistic Director

With a string of firsts in Asian Canadian theatre, Nina Lee Aquino was the founding Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian theatre company, organized the first Asian Canadian theatre conference, edited the first (2-volume) Asian Canadian play anthology, and co-edited the first (award-winning) book on Asian Canadian theatre. She was previously the Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre and Factory Theatre. Lee Aquino is a Filipino Canadian director, dramaturge, teacher, mentor, and arts advocate. Awards for her work include the Ken McDougall Award, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize, the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Margo Bindhart and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award, the Toronto Theatre Critics Awards for Best Director, and three Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Direction.

Co-Past President Mike Payette, Tarragon Theatre Artistic Director

Mike Payette is an actor and director whose work has appeared at some of Canada’s finest theatres as well as maAbout PACT ny great companies in his hometown of Montreal. Prior to joining Tarragon, this two-time META recipient, was the Artistic and Executive Director of Geordie Theatre, co-founding Artistic Director of Tableau D’Hôte Theatre and past Assistant Artistic Director for Black Theatre Workshop. Frequent guest artist at the NTS, he has served on several board including the Quebec Drama Federation, la Maison Théâtre, and MAI.


The board of directors would like to thank outgoing Past President Jay Dodge, Boca del Lupo Artistic Producer for all his hard work and dedication to PACT.

The elections of the Executive took place at the PACT Annual General Meeting during PACTcon in Montreal from May 29 to June 1, 2024.

About PACT

PACT is the collective voice of professional Canadian theatres, a leader in the performing arts community, and a devoted advocate of the value of live performance. PACT represents over 160 professional English-speaking theatre companies operating in communities across the country, ranging from the largest performing arts organizations in Canada, to smaller theatre companies that serve their audiences in a wide variety of communities; from rural to urban, commercial to independent, theatre for young audiences to culturally specific, and everything else in between.


Media Contact:

Ainslee Jessiman 

Membership & Communications Manager, PACT

416-595-6455 ext. 1519



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