Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch

Associate Professor (PhD), Department of Educational Studies

Contact for Availability for Graduate Advisement

St. Catharines, ON
Office: WH 66
905 680 5550 x5491

Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch is an interdisciplinary academic and artist. He is a composer, producer, and librettist/playwright of Anishnaabe identity. Spy’s academic research focuses on various topics including Indigenous education, arts, music and performance. His Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant (SSHRC) examines the implications of gender representations and performance in historical Indianist music and cultural production.

He wrote and co-composed the Dora Mavor Moore-nominated opera Giiwedin. Recent credits (as writer and co-composer) include: Contraries: a chamber requiem (2018 – premiered at the Royal Conservatory of Music), Sojourn (2017 – commissioned by Signal Theatre for the dance opera Bearing); HATE MAIL & Irreconcilable Trolls (2017 – premiered at Native Earth’s Aki Studio); Bottlenecked (2017); Victorian Secrets (2014 – presented at Native Earth’s Aki Studio); Spin Doctors (2014); Bike Rage (2013). He is currently completing his second full-length opera, aimed at being premiered in the next couple of seasons.

  • Arts education & curriculum
  • Indigenous studies & education
  • Theatre & music
  • Indigenous music & opera
  • Cross-cultural collaboration
  • Community-based research
  • De/colonizing methodologies
  • Indigenous methodologies
  • Interdisciplinary performance
  • Auto-ethnography
  • Aesthetics
  • Arts-based & land-based research methods
  • Associate Composer, Canadian Music Centre
  • Associate Composer, Canadian League of Composers
  • Full Member, Playwrights Guild of Canada
  • Member of Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)

Select Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

Dénommé-Welch, S., & Magowan, C. [in press] Counterpoints: Indigenous perspectives and representations in classical music and opera. In Irwin, K., & Archibald-Barber, J. (Eds.). Performing Turtle Island: New essays on Indigenous theatre and performance. Regina, SK: University of Regina Press.

Dénommé-Welch, S. (2018). Productive Contrary: Counterperformative resistance of the Queered-Queer, the Othered-Other In P. Dickinson, C. E. Gatchalian, K. Oliver, & D. Singh (eds.). Q2Q: Queer Canadian Theatre and Performance (pp. 255-269). Toronto, ON: Playwrights Canada Press.

Dénommé-Welch, S., & McNeil, B. (Eds.) (2018). Aesthetic interventions: Implications for social justice through art & performance [Special Issue]. Brock Education Journal, 28(1).

Montero, K.M., & Dénommé-Welch, S. (2018). Reconciliation through Education: A Review of Pamela Toulouse’s ‘Achieving Indigenous Student Success’ In Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, pp. 241-243.

Dénommé-Welch, S. & Rowsell, J. (2017). Epistemologies of silence. Brock Education Journal (Special Issue), pp. 10-24.

Dénommé-Welch, S., & Montero, K. M. (2014). De/colonizing preservice teacher education: Theatre of the academic absurd. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 10(1), pp. 136-165.

Select Creative Publications/Productions:

Dénommé-Welch, S. [composer & librettist], Magowan, C. [composer]. (2018). Contraries: A chamber requiem. Scored for 4 voices, oboe, bassoon, horn in F, bass-trombone, guitar, and timpani. Premiered June 27, 2018 at the Mazzoleni Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto, ON).

Dénommé-Welch, S. [composer & co-creator], Magowan, C. [composer & co-creator]. (2017). HATE MAIL & Irreconcilable Trolls. Scored for soprano, contrabassoon, and piano. Presented November 2017 at Aki Studio, Native Earth Performing Arts’ Weesageechak Festival (Toronto, ON).

Dénommé-Welch, S. [composer & librettist], Magowan, C. [composer]. (2017). Sojourn. Scored for Mezzo-soprano, strings, and timpani. *Commissioned by Signal Theatre. Premiered June 2017 by Signal Theatre at Luminato Festival, Canadian Opera Company, Toronto, ON.

Dénommé-Welch, S. [composer], Magowan, C. [composer]. (2017). Bottlenecked (for chamber ensemble). Scored for baroque chamber ensemble. Premièred March 2017 in concert: A Grand Journey by Nota Bene Baroque Players, Kitchener, ON. Video of first presentation of Bottlenecked available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_luMePvUB0


Project title: “Performance presentation of RADAR: A song cycle”
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding confirmed: Social Justice Research Institute ($6,979.56 – funded)


Mskomini Giizis Summer Residency at Native Earth Performing Arts, funded through the Metcalf Foundation. ($50,000 – funded)


Project title: “Beyond the rainbow: Investigating representations of gender and sexuality in Indianist music and production”
Role: Principal Investigator (with collaborator: Dr. Gould, University of Toronto)
Funding confirmed: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant ($39,480.00 – funded)

  • EDUC 5P42 Innovative Practices in Curriculum & Assessment
  • EDUC 5P43 Invitational and Holistic Approaches to Education
  • EDUC 5P59 The Arts in the Curriculum
  • EDUC 5P11 Culture, Identity, and Pedagogy: Advancing a Lived Curriculum
  • EDUC 3P91 Pedagogy of Indigenous Arts
  • INDG 3P85 Indigenous Perspectives in the Media
  • ABST 1P90 Introduction to Aboriginal Studies
  • ABST 2P96 (also offered as DART 2P96) Indigenous Theatre