ThisGen 2022 Fellows and program facilitators with the cast of Hot Brown Honey at the National Arts Centre residency. Why Not Theatre’s ThisGen Fellowship is one of 11 Booster Fund recipients. Photo: Greg MacKay
2022 Booster Fund: Supporting Racialized Arts Workers

Building on our long history of supporting leadership and skills development through our Performing Arts program, we are pleased to announce the recipients of a new experimental initiative, the Booster Fund, to augment our existing work in this area.

The Booster Fund supports existing training programs for racialized arts workers offered by arts organizations. We launched this invitation-only initiative in late 2022 to Toronto-based organizations with a strong history of offering leadership and skills development programming.

The Booster Fund seeks to be strategic yet flexible — each organization can decide how the funding best supports their existing program. While all program-related costs were eligible, we encouraged increases to the number of participants supported through these programs as well as the renumeration provided to participants in these times of considerable financial precarity.

We are pleased to share the 11 organizations that will receive up to $30,000 in funding over the next two years through the Booster Fund and the programs the funding will support.


Aluna Theatre

Aluna Theatre embraces the myriad voices, cultures, and stories of artists from the TransAmerican diaspora who represent the breadth of cultures and languages across the Americas.

Caminos Residencies
From June to October 2023, five artists/collectives will take part in a learning exchange/residency as part of the Caminos Festival to support their creative work and their ability to self-produce. The residency will offer mentorships, skill development sessions, learning exchange circles, and a post-producing session on “where to go from here.”


Arraymusic is one of Canada’s leading new music organizations that produces, creates, disseminates, and performs works by international composers alongside a series of learning opportunities for practitioners and the public.

Suite of Equity Programs
To promote meaningful change across its community, Arraymusic seeks to diversify the voices it includes, supports, and presents by providing a suite of professional development, leadership, and training programs for racialized arts workers: Red Sky/Array Indigenous Creators’ Workshop; Young Composers’ Workshop & Concert IBPOC Fellowship; and Composer-In-Residence/Curator Programs.

Factory Theatre

Factory Theatre actively seeks, commissions, and supports theatre artists who shed an integral light on the wide-ranging cultures (and subcultures) that exist within Canada. These artists offer insightfully relevant and thought-provoking perspectives that cross cultural borders and transcend their own identities and experiences to explore what it means to be Canadian in the 21st century.

Training Enhancement Programs
Factory Theatre’s Training Enhancement Programs develop emerging artistic talent in specific theatre disciplines (acting, directing, and playwriting) through paid training intensives guided by leading industry professionals and paid, practical apprenticeships on Factory season shows with an expanded mandate to include design and production workers.

Obsidian Theatre

Obsidian is Canada’s leading culturally specific theatre company with a threefold mission to produce plays, develop playwrights, and train emerging theatre professionals. The company is dedicated to the exploration, development, and production of the Black voice.

Young, Gifted & Black (YGB)
Young Gifted & Black is a paid, national training program to support Black artists in non-performance disciplines. The program will explore the Black aesthetic through masterclasses, individual mentorship, practical work placements, and ensemble creation.

Paprika Festival

Paprika Festival is a youth-led professional performing arts organization that runs year-round professional training and mentorship programs that culminate in a performing arts festival of new work by young artists. It has been the successful breeding ground of many arts leaders working in the field today.

Creative Producers
The Creative Producers program offers IBPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+ women, trans, and non-binary artists under 30 mentorships in creative producing for live performance, and resources to explore their artistic ideas and pay their collaborators fairly.

Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT)

PACT is a national arts service organization serving over 160 member companies of various sizes, from coast to coast to coast. The national arts service organization offers programming and professional development for both artistic staff and arts administrators.

Rising Tides
Rising Tides is a multi-faceted skill development platform created by IBPOC arts administrators for early career or new generation IBPOC arts administrators and managers to build connections, awareness, and learning exchanges within the IBPOC arts administration community. The program is led by PACT with participation from seven arts organizations including three in the Toronto area: Nightwood, Obsidian, and Native Earth.

The Royal Conservatory of Music

The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, providing the definitive standard of excellence in curriculum design, assessment, performance training, teacher certification, and arts-based social programs.

Crew/Staff Training and Production Residency Program
Crew/staff will receive training on the latest production technologies and platforms as well as concert management and marketing. The Production Residency Program provides four paid field residences to recent production graduates, or production senior students who are about to graduate and who are from equity priority groups to gain valuable practical and hands-on knowledge and ease their entry into professional production jobs.

Small World Music

For more than two decades, Small World Music has been celebrating cultural diversity and showcasing a range of local, domestic, and international music talent to audiences across the Greater Toronto Area. By enabling artists, engaging audiences, and connecting industry, the organization goes beyond presenting culturally diverse artists to include finding ways of working with, showcasing, and supporting underrepresented, marginalized, and newcomer professionals onstage and behind the scenes.

Music Incubator
The Music Incubator program is Small World Music’s signature creative and professional development program dedicated to artist career sustainability and their integration into the Canadian cultural ecosystem. Through a suite of activities, the program creates community-building opportunities for equity-deserving musicians, including Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+, newcomers, refugees, and the diverse-abled.

Tarragon Theatre

Tarragon Theatre is Canada’s home for contemporary plays. As a complement to new work creation, Tarragon presents new plays from all parts of the country, revives significant Canadian plays, and produces international work, both contemporary and classical. The company places great importance on the training of artists, administrators, and production personnel from students to professionals in the creation, development, interpretation, and production of new work.

Young Playwrights Unit and Associate Directors Project
The Young Playwrights Unit is a paid training experience for young artists (aged 18-28) who are curious and passionate about playwriting. This program offers a group of dedicated young creators a rigorous and supportive context in which to develop some of their first works. The Associate Directors Project is an initiative created for emerging directors as a bridge into the professional world of direction in institutional environments or theatres.

Theatre Passe Muraille

Theatre Passe Muraille is focused on developing and producing new alternative plays that articulate a distinct intercultural Canadian voice. The organization achieves this by creating work; supporting and presenting independent artists and companies, emerging artists, and marginalized voices; modelling new approaches to creation, collaboration, production, and stewardship; providing mentorship, expertise, space, and opportunity to people, artists, and companies; and encouraging, enhancing, and increasing meaningful interactions between their artists, staff, audiences, neighbourhoods, and supporters.


VUKA is Theatre Passe Muraille’s Black Creation Unit Cohort for early-in-craft artists and creatives, created and facilitated by Tsholo Khalema. The program invites all Black artists who self-identify as early-in-craft and use the art of storytelling in their artistic practices.

Why Not Theatre

Under the leadership of Founder and Co-Artistic Director Ravi Jain, alongside Co-Artistic Director Miriam Fernandes and Executive Director Karen Tisch, Why Not Theatre has made an enormous impact on the sector over the last 15 years through its creations, mentorships, and community-focused initiatives that have centred equity and opportunity.

ThisGen Fellowship
ThisGen is a fellowship program pairing emerging BIPOC women and non-binary theatre artists with high-calibre, culturally relevant training and mentorship. The program helps participants build their directing/producing skills and professional networks, while enriching and diversifying the theatre community.