Catalyst Theatre is pleased to announce the second cycle of CONFLUENCE – a ten-month creative
fellowship (September through June) for an IBPOC artist based in Edmonton or surrounding areas.
The fellowship offers money, space and time as well as the opportunity to be in an ongoing
conversation with the creative and administrative team at Catalyst who bring nearly three decades of professional experience in creating, producing and touring original work.
CONFLUENCE is designed to make space for IBPOC artists to develop a specific creative project
using the models that work best for them with the wholehearted support of Catalyst’s artistic and administrative team.
The fellowship aims to support, inspire and elevate the work of an IBPOC artist while creating an
opportunity to evolve their practice, hone their work, augment their creative and administrative skills and expand their professional networks.
Our hope is that, over the coming years, CONFLUENCE will play a role in evolving the makeup of
Edmonton’s theatre community and have a meaningful impact on the creative journeys of future
creative leaders who identify as IBPOC.
CONTEXT AND INSPIRATION
Catalyst Theatre is mandated to create original Canadian work that explores new possibilities for the theatrical art form and the process through which it is created. Since 1996, Catalyst has become synonymous with the award-winning work of a group of Edmonton-based artists who create bold new productions in a style completely their own.
Embedded in Catalyst’s mandate is also a commitment to share these productions with audiences locally, nationally and internationally and, to this end, the company has mounted many successful tours over the past two and half decades, performing at leading theatres and festivals around the world.
The CONFLUENCE Fellowship was created to make space for IBPOC artists who have similar dreams of creating their own work in their own way and sharing it with local, national and international audiences. It is part of Catalyst’s multi-pronged commitment to supporting and elevating the work of under-represented artists and ensuring that Catalyst is a safe and inclusive workplace.
CONFLUENCE will include the following:
- A fee of $20,000. Our hope is this fee allows you time to focus on this project, developing
your own creative work and creative practice over an extended period. This would break
down to $2000/month for the ten-month term. This fee is not meant to cover production costs
but, instead, is meant to pay the artist for their time/labour and enable them to focus on
developing their artistic practice.
- Catalyst’s administrative team will also work with you to leverage this creative
fellowship to pursue additional project-specific funding to hire creative collaborators,
to purchase or build production elements, or to rent technical equipment that you
hope to use in your work.
- Four weeks of rehearsal/workshop space. This time can be used in a single four-week block,
or broken up into smaller units (four one-week sessions that are scheduled once every two
months, for example). However you choose to use it, Catalyst will provide the space for you
to explore and develop your work on your feet. During this time, we can act as your sounding
board, your audience, your cheerleaders, or we can simply be on standby to assist you when
and if the need arises. This is your time to create, workshop or experiment in a safe
environment where you have control and ownership over the work and how it is developed.
- Access to Catalyst’s production equipment.
- A work station in Catalyst’s offices that offers a quiet space with internet access, proximity to
our staff for questions and conversations, office supplies, and a gathering space for your team
that will be available to you day or night, all season long. Use the office to do research for
your project, hold meetings, or just have a coffee and a quiet place to think. We want to share
our space with you.
- Access to our staff and creative team. This includes designers, choreographers, sound artists,
musicians, stage managers and producers to talk about everything from how our artists
develop their work, to how we build a production budget, to how we plan a tour. Our team
will be available to respond to your questions or engage in the conversations you’d like to
- A dedicated page on our website about you and your work. This is also a place where you
can share photos, video or audio of past work and/or work-in-progress.
- Takeovers on our social media platforms and amplification of you and your work on these
platforms throughout the season by our staff. We want our audiences to get to know you and
- A public showing of your work-in-progress. This could be a performance, a talk, a reading, a
design presentation, or any other sharing of the work you’ve been developing during the
- Regular check-ins with the creative/administrative team at Catalyst to ensure that your needs
are being met, that you have an opportunity to raise any questions/concerns you may have,
and that you are having the conversations you want to have to support you in your creative
- The opportunity to make connections and to be introduced to Catalyst’s network of theatre
practitioners, creators, presenters and funders. If there’s a theatre professional you want to
talk to, or learn from, we will work with you to try to make that happen.
- Access to all Catalyst activities throughout the term of the fellowship, including rehearsals,
creative meetings, staff meetings, production meetings, special events, or any other activity
that would be of interest. CONFLUENCE is an invitation to create work your way while also
providing an all-access pass to Catalyst’s operations and creation model. We invite you to be
active participants in our season in order to demystify the professional world and share our
We also want to acknowledge that our goal with CONFLUENCE is to engage in a reciprocal
relationship. As you develop your work and evolve your creative practice, the Catalyst team will also develop and evolve ours. As we work alongside each other, we expect we will all gain valuable insights, develop new ideas, learn new ways of creating, and integrate new modes of communication.
We are excited to embark upon a journey of growth, creation and evolution with you.
THE FRAMEWORK: YOUR WORK, YOUR WAY
We are committed to tailoring the fellowship to your specific needs. Once an artist has been selected, we will hire a facilitator to develop terms of reference that will ensure a safe space for creation and collaboration while ensuring the artist’s needs are being met. Catalyst will then work to create an environment that facilitates those terms, doing our best to help you achieve your own self-identified goals.
Once things have been set up, the artist can work independently, writing, devising, and creating their project, or they can request support in any area where they may feel underprepared. We don’t want to get in your way, but we also want you to know we will be there to offer support or guidance. We regard CONFLUENCE as a living structure/process that will evolve over time. We are committed to engaging in mediated conversations to ensure that feedback can be safely provided, that it is heard, and that mutually agreeable actions are taken to address concerns as they arise.
JOINING THE CONVERSATION
- Artists who self-identify as IBPOC. We encourage IBPOC artists who also identify as
LGTBQ2S+ and/or artists with disabilities to apply.
- Artists with experience in, or who express a strong interest in, developing new work and/or
demonstrate a desire to work outside of traditional theatre models.
- Artists from Edmonton or the surrounding area who are dedicated to continuing the next
step(s) of their career development in Edmonton.
- Emerging, mid-career or established artists with a strong interest in creating original work.
What we’d like you to share with us:
- SECTION ONE: Who you are and what inspires you? Introduce yourself! Send a resumé if
you have one. Tell us about what inspires you. Tell us about your work, the processes you like
or don’t like, and what excites you about CONFLUENCE (Why this fellowship? Why Catalyst?).
SECTION ONE can be done in a format of your choosing (i.e. written statements, video and
audio recordings will all be accepted). If you communicate primarily in a language other than
English we will also accept submissions in other languages (in such a case, Catalyst will pay
for your submission to be translated before being reviewed by the committee). Not including
your resumé, SECTION ONE should be no longer than three pages for written material or
five minutes for recorded material.
- SECTION TWO: Examples of Your Work. Do you have a writing sample, a video of a dance
piece, photos of your design work, a recorded piece of music you wrote? We’re curious to
see any pieces you’d like to share with us. We’re not looking for highly produced videos,
photos or audio recordings, and the quality of video will not be a consideration of the panel.
We’d just like to get a sense of your work.
If you don’t have anything to share at this time, this section is not a requirement. Please do
not let it stop you from applying if you are interested. Please keep writing samples to a
maximum of three pages, and any video/audio recordings to no more than five minutes.
- SECTION THREE: What would you like to work on during the CONFLUENCE FELLOWSHIP?
While the scope of your project may not yet be fully-realized, we would like you to tell us
about a specific project you would like to focus on during the fellowship. We are interested
in hearing you speak to a project that allows for new forms of exploration or something you
never thought would be possible to create before. We are curious about what kinds of stories
you want to tell, and how you might consider telling them. The work you do on this project
during CONFLUENCE could be some or all of: writing, composing music, working with actors,
research/dramaturgy, or any other form of development.
SECTION THREE can be done in a format of your choosing (i.e. written statements, video
and audio submissions will all be accepted). Please keep writing samples to a maximum of
three pages, and any video/audio recordings to no more than five minutes.
- SECTION FOUR: What will you need? Tell us what the ideal framework of your creation time
might look like. What kind of supports/resources, outside of the ones outlined in the
SPECIFICS section above, do you think you may need? This can be a variety of items, specific
individuals or access to information. Examples could include: specific equipment, individuals
within a certain community, artists who specialize in a skill set you’re interested in learning
about, or a way of gaining access to research materials. It’s also possible that all you require
is private space to create, and that’s great too. Our intent is to create a space that’s tailored
to your needs. Please keep this section to a maximum of two pages.
- SECTION FIVE: References. Please provide two references from individuals who have a
relationship to you and/or your work. These could be mentors, teachers, co-creators, or even audience members. These references do not have to come from within the theatre
community, but can come from within one of your communities, a trusted accomplice, or
anyone you believe that can speak about you, your work, your potential, or your experience.
SECTION FIVE can be done in a format of your trusted accomplice’s choosing (i.e. written
statements, video and audio submissions will all be accepted). Please keep writing samples
to a maximum of two pages, and any video/audio recording to no more than two minutes
- SECTION SIX: Schedule or timeline. Please give us an idea of what your schedule looks like
between September 2021 through the end of June 2022. What projects, travel, or other
commitments are coming up for you? The fellow is more than welcome to take on other
projects during the fellowship, but should also be prepared to commit to their CONFLUENCE
project over this ten month period. Since one of the goals of the fellowship is to create the
time and space for you to focus on your creative practice and the development of a single
new work over an extended period of time, your availability will be a consideration.
To share your materials, ask questions, or if you would like an example of what a submission in any of the five sections above might look like, please contact Managing Director, Lana Michelle Hughes, at email@example.com.
Want to apply but there’s something you’re unable to provide? Again, please feel free to reach out. We’re happy to be in dialogue with you as you prepare your submission.
The selection process will be led by a paid committee of IBPOC artists along with the artistic director, managing director, and associate producer of Catalyst Theatre. The committee will review all submitted materials and select an artist for the fellowship.
Applications will be assessed on: previous and proposed work, clarity and enthusiasm of
process/practice, impact that CONFLUENCE could have on the artist, impact that the partnership
between Catalyst and the artist could have on the wider Edmonton creation community, and
Catalyst’s ability to provide the resources/experience the artist is looking for.
Once all applications have been reviewed, a short list of candidates will be asked to participate in an informal Zoom interview to allow the selection committee to learn more about the applicant and their proposed work. Applicants are also encouraged to bring their own questions about CONFLUENCE to this interview. Interviews are expected to happen around the end of July.
The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, the 15th of June, 2021.
Submissions should be sent to Lana Michelle Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catalyst Theatre recognizes that where we create, share, and tell stories is located on Treaty 6 territory as well as Region 4 of Métis Nation of Alberta, the traditional territories of the nêhiyawak, Saulteaux, Niisitapi, Nakota Sioux, Dene, Métis, and other peoples. In doing so, we recognize that we are a part of a larger journey of growth, creation and working alongside all voices that call this place home.
Catalyst Theatre is also grateful to Hunter Cardinal and Jacquelyn Cardinal of Naheyawin for the
exceptional consultation they offered as CONFLUENCE took shape. Their thoughtful guidance and support in the preparation of this call for submissions was invaluable.