New Conversations is a programme funded and delivered by the British Council, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK. The fund is designed to encourage and support the development of creative exchange, collaboration and partnerships between artists and arts organisations in the performing arts sector in the UK and Canada.

New Conversations aims to provide opportunities to initiate challenging and inquisitive conversations, exchange ideas and practices and develop ambitious creative research and development projects that can offer first steps for artistic collaborations and productions between Canada and the UK.

The fund is open to Canada and UK-based artists, collectives, independent companies and organisations of theatre and dance but we welcome applications from collaborations across art forms (please refer to eligibility requirements for more details).

New Conversations will fund up to $8,700.00 CAD/£5,000 GBP toward collaborative and sustainable creative projects that can deliver long-term benefits for the performing arts sectors in both countries:

  • To increase cultural exchange opportunities between UK and Canada, allowing for more artist mobility and international opportunities
  • To share best practices and networks through exchange, to increase skills, develop ideas and new artistic vocabulary between professional artists and organisations
  • To support visibility and representation of voices and a diversity of dialogues in the performing arts sector 
  • To support research, development and creation, and seed support for future collaborations and productions


Project eligibility criteria

We are looking for new project proposals that bring together Canadian and UK artists and arts organisations to develop new partnerships, collaborations, and exchanges, from creative and research-based residencies to project development.

Successful projects will demonstrate quality of ideas, viability, host support and potential for ongoing exchange and future productions

Project Eligibility

Projects must:

  • Involve at least one British partner residing in the UK and one Canadian partner residing in Canada. At least one partner must be an organisation.
  • Be performing arts-related in theatre and dance. We will accept multi-disciplinary projects with a strong and relevant performing arts foundation.
  • Be carried out according to principles of reciprocity and mutual commitment, both in regard to financing and concrete impacts
  • Begin at the earliest on 1 August 2019
  • Include a complete budget plan detailing both the in-kind and financial match funding requirement:
  1. 5% in-kind contribution, either from the partners or from a third party. The in-kind contribution may not include labour costs or professional fees. For more information, please refer to the FAQs.
  2. 5% financial (cash) contribution, either from the partners or from a third party
  • Respect the application submission deadline – all applications received after May 31, 2019 at23:59 GMT or 17:59 EST for will not be considered.
  • Financial requests must be no more than $8,700 CAD/£5,000 GBP.
  • The partnership has not received funds from the Québec-UK Connections (British Council) programme. For more information, please see the FAQs.                                                                                                                           

Applicants Eligibility

Partners must be one of the following:

  • Registered charitable or not-for-profit theatre or dance organisations in Canada or in the UK
  • Independent theatre or dance companies or collectives in Canada or in the UK
  • Individual artists (Note that this application is eligible only if made in partnership with a registered charitable or not-for-profit theatre or dance organisation, or independent company in Canada or in the UK.)
  • Other art disciplines working in collaboration with an artist, arts organisation, or company in theatre and dance in Canada or the UK
  • We encourage applications from:
  1. Smaller organisations and independent theatre/dance or any other form of performing arts companies;
  2. Organisations that have the experience and capacity to support international residencies and partnerships;
  3. Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugees (BAMER) artists in the UK;
  4. Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and newcomer artists in Canada;
  5. Deaf, Mad and disability-identified [1] artists in Canada and in the UK;
  6. BAMER / BIPOC-led and disability-led organisations;
  • The High Commission of Canada’s mandate is to serve the Government of Canada’s international priorities: With this in mind, we encourage applications that engage with one or more of the following subject areas or demonstrates leadership from relevant groups:
  1. Diversity and Inclusion
  2. Human Rights, including gender equality, women’s rights, LGBTQ2+ Rights
  3. Indigenous Reconciliation and Expression
  4. Environment (Climate/Oceans)
  5. Innovation


  • Private organisations and corporations are ineligible
  • Activities such as: touring and/or restaging of existing work.
  • Projects that were not successful in the first round. We welcome applicants from the first round with new projects. Please refer to FAQs for more information.

Application Process

  • One application submitted by a main applicant, either Canadian or British is required, with signature of their partner(s).
  • The main applicant is responsible to­­ sign the contractual agreement and receive the New Conversations fund, deliver on the project, report, ensure budget management, and share relevant photo/video documentation. The main applicant will act as the primary contact for the New Conversations team.
  • Projects must begin on or after August 1, 2019           
  • Projects must be completed on or before March 31, 2020
  • Project reports must be submitted by June 30, 2020   

Eligible and Ineligible Expenses

The following expenses are eligible. Please use the guidelines below for maximum eligible costs for flights, accommodation and per diem expenses:

  • Transportation costs for return travel between the UK and Canada in economy class
  • Per diem and local transport
  • Subsistence allowance for artist residencies
  • Honorarium and fees for artists and arts professionals
  • Publication fees associated with the project or other fees linked to a public event
Expense Maximum Cost in Pounds Maximum Cost in Canadian Dollar
Flight £600 per person $1100 per person
Accommodation £120 per night $200 per night
Per diem £35 per day $65 per day

The following expenses are not eligible:

  • Expenses related to an organisation’s operating costs and staff payment
  • Any expense previously covered by financial support from another government program.

Project Evaluation Criteria

  • Relevance of project submitted in relation with the objectives of the New Conversations fund
  • Creation of new partnerships
  • Artistic innovation of the project
  • Clarity of stated objectives
  • Timeframe and work program feasibility
  • Contribution to the sector’s development based on the projected benefits and results
  • Balance between the objectives, projected results in view of the work schedule and budget plan.

Application submission and deadline

The application must be uploaded to the New Conversations Application Portal no later than May 31, 2019 at23:59 GMT or 17:59 EST. All applications submitted after this date will not be considered. The application can be downloaded at the bottom of this webpage.

All applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

For any questions regarding the submission of an application, you may contact:

Name Position Organisation Email Address
Carrie Hage Arts Manager, Interim British Council
Bianca Jones Cultural Officer The High Commission of Canada in the UK 
Gavin Stride Director Farnham Maltings

[1] Mad is a term used in Canada as an activist reclamation/movement of the users of mental health services, former users, and allies. For more information, check out Inclusion: Deaf, disability and Mad arts (