Martin Smith, Playwright & Director with ICHTHYS Theatre Productions

Discover Brantford’s arts and culture scene with Martin Smith, an actor, playwright, director and the President of ICHTHYS Theatre Productions. ICHTHYS is a not-for-profit community theatre company that creates socially relevant theatre presented in comedies, dramedies, classics and family plays.

Martin’s real passion is playwriting and a number of his plays have been performed in Brantford and surrounding areas. He is also the Chair of the Brantford Cultural Advisory Committee.

Martin Smith

What are some of your must-visit cultural sites in Brantford?

Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant is one of my favourite spots. When I visit, I always start by exploring the grounds of Glenhyrst Gardens and maybe even walking down to take a glimpse of the Grand River. No visit would be complete without a visit to their main gallery and stopping by The Golden Teapot for afternoon tea. In downtown Brantford, the Brant Museum and Archives, Grace Gallery and the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts are wonderful spots to visit. Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks is absolutely worth a visit too, as is Woodland Cultural Centre.”

Woodland Cultural Centre

The Woodland Cultural Centre operates a museum and gallery alongside the former Mohawk Institute Residential School and serves to preserve, promote, protect and celebrate Indigenous history, art, language and culture. Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save the Evidence campaign aims to raise awareness and support for the restoration of the former residential school, and to develop the building into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource. As one of only a handful of residential school buildings left still standing in Canada, it is a physical reminder of the legacy of assimilation imposed upon Indigenous children in Canada.

What is your favourite way to experience the arts during the summer?

“I love that cultural events can move outside in the spring and summer. Whether you’re attending an outdoor theatre performance at the Bell Homestead with Brant Theatre Workshops or enjoying some live music at Harmony Square, there are so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and the arts at the same time.”

What are your favourite places in Brantford to bring family and friends?  

“When I have friends or family visiting Brantford, I bring them to our arts and culture sites like Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant and the Bell Homestead National Historic Site first. When it’s time to eat, we always go to Taal Fine Indian Cuisine.” 

Throughout the year, Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant hosts contemporary fine art exhibitions, guided tours, special events and more.

Mother and child looking at art inside Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant

What’s one thing you’d like people to know about the arts in Brantford?

“I think just how incredibly deep and wide the talent pool is here. We have fabulous artists on every level. I’m flabbergasted at how many talented people live in Brantford.”