In a series of short profiles, Capital Current introduces some of the people working hard to improve life in Ottawa.

Who is he?

Kevin Loring is an Indigenous playwright, actor and at present the artistic director of the National Arts Centre’s Indigenous. As an actor, he will appear in Bones of Crows on CBC, an Indigenous-focused drama on the impact of residential schools. He was awarded the Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama for the play Where the Blood Mixes in 2009.

What’s his background?

Initially, theatre was never on Loring’s radar. A Nlakaʼpamux from the Lytton First Nation in British Columbia, he originally intended to enter the sciences. Loring credits his shift in interest to being exposed to Indigenous theatre through Tomson Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing.

What’s he known for in Ottawa?

In this city, he is best-known as the artistic director for Indigenous theatre at the NAC.

Loring says the pandemic has affected audience engagement. In such times, increasing visibility for Indigenous works is a challenge, but he told Capital Current he believes that the NAC’s program can help. 

“One of the things that we really endeavour to do is to partner with theatres, regionally. So that we can share works at the NAC but also help string together elements of a tour across the country. Often, if there’s a show from another region, and it’s presented at the NAC, it’s an opportunity for a company to tie in other venues as it comes to the NAC or as it leaves the NAC. And so I think that the more that the work is done, the more the audience will be exposed, and we’ll build that audience base,” Loring said.

What do people say about him?

Loring recently saw his term as artistic director extended into the 2026-2027 season. “Kevin Loring and the Indigenous Theatre team have enabled hundreds of Indigenous artists to proudly claim their rightful place on the national stage,” said Christopher Deacon, president and CEO of the NAC.

What’s a lesser-known fact about him?

In his spare time, Loring plays guitar and uses this skill to produce musical versions of traditional Indigenous stories in his hometown of Lytton.