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Celebration of Life & The Exhibit: Hillar Liitoja

Remembering Hillar Liitoja

Join us in commemorating the life and work of the extraordinary Hillar Liitoja (June 18, 1954 – June 2, 2023).


Hillar’s relationship with Art began at a young age. Starting piano at age six, he was regularly winning recital competitions by his teens. By his early twenties his interests moved to theatre which led to the eventual creation of DNA.

In its early years, DNA produced a number of works revolving around the poetry of Ezra Pound. In the next decade DNA produced some two dozen works. Awards included the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award in 1994 for his play THE LAST SUPPER (1993), a jury prize for Innovation in Theatrical Writing at the Festival de Théâtre des Amériques in 1987, four Dora Mavor Moore Awards: HAMLET (1989); SICK (1991); and two for THE LAST SUPPER (1994 ) – Outstanding Direction plus Outstanding Production, Small Theatre Division.

In the 1990s, DNA created a major new cycle inspired by the great theatrical visionary Antonin Artaud. The effects of that research would go on to inform his future work, challenging Hillar to push his own artistic boundaries and to find new avenues of creative expression. Following the Artaud Cycle, Hillar apprenticed under James Kudelka at the National Ballet of Canada, going on to create three ballet productions. In his final years, Hillar found great satisfaction in writing, podcasting and mentoring.

The Exhibit is a retrospective on DNA’s work that explores the aesthetics and contributions of Artistic Director Hillar Liitoja. On display are materials and video from DNA productions and performance “scores” that Hillar created for Hamlet, the Fate Ballet, Expound and Orangeville. Learn more about DNA at

From September 11
to September 16, 2023


Franco Boni Theatre, gallery

The Celebration of Life

Public Celebration of Life event will take place on Sat Sept 16 - doors open 7:00 PM, event starts 7:30 PM.

The exhibit (open for walk-in)

Mon Sept 11 to Sat Sept 16, 8:30 AM (9:00 AM Sat) to 6:00 PM