Indigenous Artist

Erin Macklem is a playwright, costume designer and beader of Métis (St Norbert settlement), Irish and French ancestry. She grateful to live, work, and raise her daughter on Lkwungen territory, traditional lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. Working in professional theatre for over 25 years, she was the Artistic Associate & Outreach Coordinator for the Belfry Theatre (Victoria BC) for 12 years before becoming a Program Officer at the BC Arts Council in 2018.

As a playwright, Erin has a special interest in site-specific theatre, and has a particular love of theatre for small audiences in small spaces. Her writing includes small works such as "The Map" (co-created and performed with Allison Bottomley for Belfry’s SPARK Festival); "The First Last Time" (Solo Collective and SummerWorks), "All the Things I Wasn’t" (an interactive purge of childhood ephemera for Theatre SKAM’s Schoolhouse Rocks On), "Canoe du Soleil" (a canoe circus act co-created and performed with Kassianni Austin for Theatre SKAM’s Bike Ride), "Field Forest Farmer Fox" (Rumble’s Tremors Festival) and an adaptation of Crad Kilodney’s "The Simplified Existence of Mr. Duggins" (a promenade mini play for Theatre BOMBUS at the Belfry Theatre’s SPARK Festival).

"This Little Light," a musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Little Match Girl" (music/lyrics by Brad L’Ecuyer) was commissioned by the Belfry Theatre and premiered there in December 2016. This play celebrates community and features neighbourhood school choirs and cameo appearances by local business owners.

In 2016, she was commissioned by Story Theatre Co. to write a play for young audiences. "Blue Beads and Blueberries" adapts the traditional folktale "Cap O' Rushes" to introduce young audiences to aspects of Métis culture including beading, jigging, music, and migration. "Blue Beads and Blueberries" toured throughout BC from 2017-2019.

The full-length musical "Tragic Animal Stories" (music/lyrics by Avery Brown) has received development support from Playwrights Theatre Centre, Gotta Getta Gimmick, and the Belfry Theatre and will be produced by Theatre SKAM in 2020.

Erin’s costume designs have been seen in Victoria for the Belfry Theatre, Pacific Opera Victoria, Kaleidoscope Theatre, and Suddenly Dance Theatre. Her costumes have toured Canada with Theatre SKAM, Story Theatre Co. and The Other Guys Theatre. Elsewhere her designs have been seen in Vancouver (Arts Club Theatre), Winnipeg (Prairie Theatre exchange), Armstrong (Caravan Farm Theatre), Kelowna (Viva Musica) and New York (Dual Minds). She was part of the design team representing Canada in the international competition of scenography – The Prague Quadrennial 2015.

Erin is a member of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada and the Associated Designers of Canada. See her bead work on Instagram at quickchangearts


First Nations


Member of the Metis Nation of Greater Victoria, and the Metis Nation of BC
Wikidata ID: Q113502020
Artsdata ID: K3-27
Last reviewed: Feb 24th, 2023