Industry Listing, Submission.

Deadline: 11:59pm EST on Friday October 16, 2020

We are living in a world where white supremacy is the “norm” – where Black and Indigenous lives are stolen from their families due to violence, racial injustice and systemic racism. We won’t and can’t continue to let this happen.

As a company that is devoted to commissioning and developing new Canadian plays, musical works and dance, we believe that stories, and the artists who tell them, can change the world. We recognize and are committed to changing the systems of oppression that obstruct access for and impede the advancement of Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

This is why we’ve chosen to commission a Black and/or Indigenous artist to create a full-length work.

We invite proposals for the creation of a new performance work. Nightswimming will work with the commissioned artist to design a process to develop it in full collaboration and with a focus on ensuring that the commissioned artist is empowered to work how they wish, with whom they want, and in the ways that are essential to its creation. Because Nightswimming does not self-produce the works we commission, we devote all of our time and resources to supporting the unique creation process of each new work. We commit to establishing, in consultation with each artist, partnerships with producers to ensure each work reaches the audiences you want to impact.

What Nightswimming can offer

  • A custom designed creation and development process from inception to premiere, free from the pressure of production deadlines
  • An interdisciplinary environment in which we welcome projects in theatre, dance, music and forms that cross over and integrate those disciplines
  • On-going dramaturgical support designed for and in collaboration with the creator
  • A commitment to long-term creative relationships
  • Access to a community of artists whose work we support dramaturgically on every level
  • Opportunities for readings, workshops and/or studio sessions to develop your work with other artistic collaboratorsincluding but not limited to performers, designers, or musicians
  • $20,000 commission fee

Who can apply?

  • Creators who self-identity as Black or Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, or Métis)
  • Artists creating in any performance discipline including but not limited to: music, dance, and theatre
  • Emerging, mid-career, and established creators
  • Artists who are currently a Canadian resident

What we’re looking for in your proposal

  • Ideas that embrace exploration and aim to achieve something you’ve never attempted before
  • Projects that could not happen in any other scenario; it might be a dream project that you never thought someonewould support; or a large scale piece that is generally considered beyond the means of most organizations; or content that other organizations would not stand behind; or a piece that you don’t know how to make but are driven to create
  • Exploration of dramatic forms and interdisciplinary approaches that stretch dramaturgical boundaries; we are particularly interested in ideas that integrate performance and music, including vocal music, and acknowledge the audience as an active participant in the event
  • A commitment to long-term creation processes and collaboration
  • We are asking for the idea you’ve always wanted to explore but never had the opportunity to pursue. Rather thanseeking works-in-progress and drafts of existing projects, we are seeking ideas for a new work that you can develop from the very beginning of the process.We strongly encourage applications from Black and Indigenous folx who also identify as LGBTQ2S+ or persons with a disability.

A single PDF document (maximum 5 pages) and/or a single YouTube video (maximum 7 minutes) answering the following questions, in this order:

A) Introduce Yourself – up to 2 pages

  • Tell us who you are, what community(ies) you’re accountable to, and about your artistic practice (attaching a CV is optional, if you think it is helpful for us to consider)
  • A description of any past artistic experience, paid or un-paid, including any relevant educational, training or creationexperience you’ve had.

B) Describe Your Proposed Project – up to 3 pages

  • What ideas, issues, stories or questions are you exploring and what excites you about them?
  • What is the story you want to tell? If it isn’t a story, tell us what you’d like to show an audience, in an overview of thepiece you want to make.
  • Why do you want to make this artistic work and how do you imagine creating it?
  • What do you want to achieve by putting your ideas in front of an audience?

Please do not include scripts, press clippings or reviews, photos, programs, press kits or folders. If helpful to the adjudication process, we will request additional support material.

Applications must be received by 11:59pm EST on Friday October 16, 2020. Please email to Brittany Ryan at

Applicants may be asked to provide a more detailed secondary follow-up proposal after the first round of assessment. Due to the long-term nature of the commission, short-listed applicants will be invited to meet with Nightswimming staff to explore the idea together before a decision is made.

Nightswimming is a dramaturgical company dedicated to exploring the boundaries of dramaturgy and performance. We commission and develop new works of theatre, dance and music. All proposals will be reviewed and assessed by Nightswimming artists including Brian Quirt, Brittany Ryan and Myekah Payne.

Need a different way to send your ideas in? Let us know.
If you have any questions about the application process, or have any specific accessibility concerns regarding applications that the Nightswimming team can assist with, including applying in a non-written format (i.e. as an audio or video file), please feel free to contact Brittany at 416.504.3898 or

Please subscribe to Nightswimming’s e-newsletter so you’ll receive notification of deadlines and application details. We look forward to reading your application.

Comments are closed.