2019 Festival Call for Submissions



The Magnetic North Theatre Festival board of directors is pleased to announce that after a two-year hiatus from presenting work, the Festival will re-emerge with renewed spirit and purpose in the Vancouver Region from June 6 – 16, 2019.

The festival will be held on Coast Salish Territory and will be a partnership between artists, presenters, academics, and audiences. The festival headquarters will be at The Cultch in East Vancouver and events will take place in the multiple communities across the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).

Changes at Magnetic North
Magnetic North will continue to focus on Canadian work and engage participants from across the country, including invited guests from abroad. It will no longer be strictly focused on theatre. As the lines blur between disciplines in the works that artists are creating, the festival will be focused on the live performing arts in whatever form that may take.

The Cultch has provided in-kind venue donations to the festival and acts as in-kind administrative homebase, but it is not funding or affiliated with the festival’s operations or programming. The festival will be held in Vancouver in June 2019, but it is not committed to being presented in particular cities each year. It will not be led by an Artistic Director, with a singular, curatorial vision. It will also not follow the format of traditional markets or industry events at festivals where the goal is to buy and sell product; those conferences and models already exist.

New Spirit, Purpose and Vision
The festival will now focus on finding ways of partnering and participating in work and/or its process by supporting learning, innovation in creation, and audience and community engagement. It will also focus on clearly communicating to the public their integral role as cohort and conspirator.

The board will act as the administrative and managerial team running the organization, each bringing their areas of expertise to make it happen. A Festival Producer will be hired to facilitate and oversee the logistics of the event, reporting directly to the board. The organization is intentionally structured this way to reflect and support the festival’s new spirit, purpose, and vision.

Organized by a Festival Producer and working in response to the needs of  the artistic community and the public, the festival is host to a “performing arts potluck” of professional arts projects proposed by independent artists and producing companies. The festival will bring the national community together by resourcing the festival and the participants; including but not limited to professional fees, commissions, micro investments, community and industry  development, conversations and matchmaking.  As such, Magnetic North now plays an active role in being our nation’s community test kitchen to explore new territory and engage audiences in making theatre, or other performing arts.

Call to Participants
We are asking artists, presenters, producers, administrators, community advocates and academics to bring their work to the table in whatever stage of development it might be or form that might take.

If you already have resources that you have allocated to developing work, and/or are in a process that wants to engage the public and colleagues in a robust dialogue, then Magnetic North is for you.

Examples of a Magnetic North submission could include but are not limited to:

  • Co-creating a work with new audiences.
  • Testing audience response to a work in creation.
  • The presentation of a work in progress.
  • Seeding a new idea with input from the public and your colleagues from across the country.
  • Presenting or pitching a new idea – think a performing arts TED talk.
  • Sharing a profound experience your company may have had that could benefit others.
  • Teaching a skill or hosting a development group.
  • Hosting a public conversation between different communities (culturally or creatively).
  • An outdoor performance, activity, or happening.

Whatever the form, applicants will be selected on the following basis:

  • A fundamental expression of respect for all communities (culturally or creatively).
  • An inherent drive to explore new territory in your work.
  • Growth expressed in the spirit of curiousity and generosity.
  • A spirit of excellence running through your project, participants, or company history.
  • An ability to supplement the financial needs of your project at the festival, beyond what the festival can provide in fees, accommodation, and travel.

Extended Submission Deadline: September 15, 2018

Please submit a single document that includes the following information:

Participant Details

  • Activity title
  • Name(s) of participant(s)
  • 100-word bios for your company (if applicable), as well as each participant on the project.
  • Role each participant plays in the creation/activation of the project. Please indicate how they are integral to the work.

Project Details: 250 words max per response

  • What is the nature of the project you want to create at or bring to Magnetic North?
  • What are you seeking to test or learn through your project, at this time?
  • How is this particular audience of value to the growth of the work at this time? Simply put: why Magnetic North and why now?
  • What is your desired impact on this particular audience?
  • How will you measure the impact of your work on the participants, and incorporate that into the development of either this project or your future work?
  • How Can Magnetic North best contribute to your company, your work and your development?

Scope and Scale
Please describe the ideal environment to explore this project.
Be sure to indicate details such as: outdoor or indoor environment, style of outdoor space or size of theatre, any technical requirements, if you require a multi-room performance environment (for roving work), and if you have or require direct access to a particular community.
Please be as detailed as necessary. This will help us match you with the appropriate venue(s) we have sourced for the festival throughout the GVRD.

Our aim is to support the participation of as many projects in 2019 as financially possible, by providing a range of financial options such as artist fees, micro-investments, supplemental support, travel, and accommodation. Participants are responsible for sourcing any additional funds through their home organization or other grant support.

Please outline the following:

  • Number of participants in your project
  • Number of rooms/housing required to support your participants?
  • Do you have access to free housing?
  • Are you interested in billeting?
  • For participants not from the GVRD, where is each participant travelling from?
  • Do you have confirmed supplementary financial support to guarantee your participation in the festival?
  • If you do not have confirmed supplementary financial support, what organizations or grants will you be approaching and when will you know if they can provide funding?

How the submissions are going to be assessed
The 2019 Festival aims to have representation from across the country, from multiple communities and in multiple languages. We are committed to furthering the work of Indigenous and disability artists and ensuring a broad base of genre is represented at the festival. This diversity will be one of our major goals and one that we will use to assess submissions.

Our ambitions are many and our budget is limited so that is why we are asking what you can bring to the table to share with your community. Submissions will be assessed on how best we can use our limited resources. If we are not able to program your proposal in its entirety we will ensure that there will be a vehicle for you to share the project through a catalogue that we will be provided to participants. In this way everyone who makes a submission will be represented in some way or another.

Please send any questions you may have to Magnetic North Chair, Heather Redfern, at [email protected]

Please submit your final proposal to Magnetic North Vice-Chair, Amy Lynn Strilchuk, at [email protected]

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