British Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK are delighted to announce the 22 new creative collaborations between UK and Canadian performing arts companies and artists.
Initially launched in 2018 as a two-year pilot, New Conversations has invested over £200,000/$350,000 to increase collaborations between Canadian and British artists with an emphasis on new partnerships and - before the pandemic - on physical exchange and artist mobility. In light of the current restrictions on international travel and the ongoing climate emergency, Round Three responds to a radically different context with a new programme focusing on creative responses to remote exchanges.
Mariya Afzal, Country Director, British Council in Canada, said: “We are thrilled to be working once again with our partners on the third round of New Conversations. The pandemic has been a catalyst for change in so many ways, and New Conversations provides the timely platform to explore the unique possibilities of cultural exchange during this time. These new projects challenge and reimagine narratives around how we connect with each other, and what is possible when we do. We look forward to the coming year and watching the collaborations take shape.”
Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts, said: “We are proud to have collaborated with our partners to enhance and renew artistic and knowledge exchanges between the UK and Canada through New Conversations. The results of this third cycle are all the more relevant in this key moment in which exchanges are being redefined. Innovative collaborations and the circulation of ideas remain at the heart of artists' concerns, and New Conversations is helping to maintain and re-imagine this essential connection between the artistic communities of our two countries.”
Gavin Stride, Director of Farnham Maltings, said: "One thing that appears to have resulted alongside the pandemic is a radical shift in people's attitude towards jumping on a plane for short visits. Yet we know the benefit and artists will still want to exchange and share ideas with others around the world. Being able to invest in testing new ways of starting these relationships with partners we like and trust has been a delight.”
H.E. Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada in the UK, said: “We are so proud to announce the winning projects for Round Three of New Conversations – our largest round to date! In a year that has forced our cultural industries to dramatically adapt and adjust how they work and collaborate internationally, we value our Canada-UK cross-cultural connections more than ever. We are looking forward to seeing what “new conversations” arise from these 22 diverse partnerships.”
The applicants selected in round three are:
Beyond the Border Wales International Storytelling Festival (Wales, UK) and Festival interculturel du conte de Montréal (Quebec, Canada): Reinventions in Virtual Storytelling brings together two leading international biennial storytelling festivals to discuss, explore, and initiate new digital storytelling collaborations.
//BUZZCUT// (Scotland, UK) and The Rhubarb Festival (Ontario, Canada): //BUZZCUT// & Rhubarb Creative Exchange will re-imagine risk-taking, artistic experimentation, and Live Art in the age of COVID through an online curatorial exchange.
Cole Alvis (Ontario, Canada) and Subira Joy (England, UK): blood memory & other ancestral technologies is a supportive exchange exploring blood memory, ancestral ways of knowing, and intergenerational knowledge under colonialism.
Fuel (England, UK) and T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss (British Columbia, Canada): The Vaccinium Berry Collective (working title) combines cultural heritage and new chemistry storytelling through an exploration of ethnomedicinal uses, chemistry, and health science research, of the Vaccinium species important to indigenous Skwxwu7mesh communities.
GIFT (England, UK) and Mia & Eric (Alberta, Canada): Woodland Wanders (via the) world-wide web will support the development of methodologies for remote, site-responsive, artist residencies in rural locations through a series of online artistic collaborative encounters.
Hot Coals Productions (England, UK) and Connor Yuzwenko-Martin (Alberta, Canada): CAPTIONING CREATIVE DESIGN strives to share knowledge and experience on developing and deploying Creative Captions across the theatre and performance sector.
Manitoba Theatre for Young People (Manitoba, Canada) and Kevin Dyer (Wales, UK): Touch is a highly personal, theatrical exploration of how physical distancing and quarantine may be impacting the lives of young people.
Naeem Adamma Davis (England, UK) and Kirsten Azan (Ontario, Canada): Dance Can’t Nice is a multimedia documentary and time capsule connecting and archiving global black experiences around dance and music and hypothesizing about a future that will require collaboration more than ever.
Naomi Woo (Manitoba, Canada) and Sophie Seita (England, UK): The Minutes of the Hildegard von Bingen Society for Gardening Companions is an experimental research and theatrical project based on an imaginary historical society of queer and female gardeners centering themes of interspecies and environmental care, women’s work, sound, sickness, plants, and healing.
Rhiannon Faith Company (England, UK) and Jaberi Dance Theatre (Ontario, Canada): Socially Conscious brings together two female arts activists as they explore and document questions of activism and creative change through shared practice.
Salima Punjani (Quebec, Canada) and Greer Pester (Scotland, UK): Sensory Glisk applies principles of care and relaxed performance to the creation of online multisensory performances bridging online and physical space.
Second Hand Dance (England, UK) and WeeFestival of Arts and Culture for Early Years (Ontario, Canada): Touch: keeping connected uses touch as a starting point to explore knowledge sharing, collaboration, and choreography when separated by distance.
Selby Town Council (England, UK) and Tim FitzHigham (Ontario, Canada): A Tale Of Two Selbys explores the historic and cultural relationships, past and present, between the towns of Selby, North Yorkshire and Selby, Ontario.
Stopgap Dance Company (England, UK), Laura Dajao (England, UK), and Maxime D.-Pomerleau (Quebec, Canada): Audio Choreography will work with disabled artists to create intimate and immersive sound-based dance pieces.
Suzanne Alleyne (England, UK) and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Alberta, Canada): Neurology of Power: Whose Truth, Whose Power will document the process of Banff Centre’s change programme, reflecting on power, indigenous leadership, and the impact of empire in Canada and the UK informed by Alleyne’s research on power in the brain and body.
The Successors of Mandingue (Wales, UK) and Productions Sagatallas S.E.N.C. (Quebec, Canada): Mandingue Horizons - Cymraeg/Québécois brings together two West African arts companies exploring duality and unity using a French and Welsh musical composition as the catalyst for the co-creation of an R&D dance piece.
Theatre Passe Muraille (Ontario, Canada) and Streetwise Opera (England, UK): PROLOGUE: The Fox Project is a creative exploration in advance of a new community driven artistic project THE FOX PROJECT that sees under-housed individuals activate the poetry of a lost compatriot.
Theatre Replacement (British Columbia, Canada) and Deborah Pearson (England, UK): Rural Urban Connections is a year-long series of interregional and creative conversations undertaken by Canadian and British theatre makers interested in developing new networks, sharing knowledge, and exploring practice within the urban/rural context.
Trigger (England, UK) and SummerWorks (Ontario, Canada): Trigger are working with Summerworks on a collaboration between UK and Canadian teams with a new approach to touring work. Bespoke to the identities and themes of place.
Unsettling Dramaturgy Colloquium (British Columbia, Canada) and Julie McNamara (England, UK): Sites Unsettled will showcase examples of dramaturgical practice emerging from the embodied experiences and perspectives of Crip and Indigenous makers across a variety of political and colonial contexts in Canada, the UK and beyond.
VocalEye Descriptive Arts (British Columbia, Canada) and Anne Hornsby (England, UK): Diversifying Description is a series of modular online describer training workshops that will lay the foundation for long-distance apprenticeships led by professional describers in consultation with the blind community and non-white members of the arts community.
Zoyander Street (England, UK) and Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer (Quebec, Canada): Protocol integration: a queer and socially awkward interactive online play (working title) is an exploratory online interactive play using the qualities of online video to highlight the awkwardness of social performance and transgender experiences of neurodiversity.
UK Press contact:
International Projects Producer, Farnham Maltings
Canada Press contact:
Communications and Engagement
Canada Council for the Arts