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Introducing the 2016 Creative Strategies Incubator

Metcalf’s Creative Strategies Incubator program is designed to help professional performing arts companies explore new strategies for addressing longstanding sectoral issues. Through an accompanying Learning Network, participants are encouraged to nurture the organizational change that comes from developing and implementing innovation, and to foster a culture of shared learning among the sector at large.

The focus issue for the 2016 Creative Strategies Incubator is providing greater opportunities for artistic work to achieve its potential. We are pleased to introduce the six companies who will participate in the program and address this issue over the next three years.

Acting Up Stage Company


GreyGardensPhoto: Rachael McCaig   c  c

Acting Up Stage Company produces, develops, and promotes better understanding of contemporary musical theatre in Canada. In addition to their critically-acclaimed productions of contemporary musicals, Acting Up presents an annual musical concert at Koerner Hall and offers a variety of mentoring and training initiatives including workshops in Thorncliffe Park.

Acting Up’s supported initiative will unlock and access cross-border resources to support the often costly and complex musical theatre development process. The company will develop collaborative relationships with US regional theatres, explore US models for commercial enhancement within Canada, and capitalize on funding opportunities that are only available to American 501c3 charities.

Acting Up previously participated in the inaugural 2013 Creative Strategies Incubator.

Art of Time Ensemble

ArtofTimePhoto: John Lauener   c  c

Art of Time Ensemble is a collective of Canadian-based classical, jazz, and pop musicians, founded in 1998 by pianist/artistic director Andrew Burashko. Art of Time presents an annual subscription season at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre Theatre, and regularly appears as part of the Royal Conservatory of Music performance season at Koerner Hall.

Art of Time’s supported initiative will increase their artistic work’s potential by fostering new creation, enhancing existing works, providing resources according to the demands of the artistic idea, and leveraging works in original and adapted form to increase their number of performances and their touring capacity. The company will concurrently expand its human and financial resources to underwrite these activities in perpetuity.

Art of Time previously participated in the inaugural 2013 Creative Strategies Incubator.

Native Earth Performing Arts

damelahamid.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x724Photo: Derek Dix   c  c

Native Earth Performing Arts is the oldest professional Indigenous theatre company in Canada. Currently in its 34th year, the company is dedicated to creating, developing and producing professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in Canada.

Native Earth Performing Arts will launch the Mskomini Giizis Residency as their supported initiative. The residency is designed for emerging and mid-career Indigenous artists living across Canada who are developing original works, and will occur over four weeks in July of 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Public Recordings Performance Projects

Screen-shot-2012-02-09-at-1.01.06-AMPhoto: Public Recordings Performance Projects   c  c

Public Recordings Performance Projects is a collaborative operation, formed in 2003, that unites artistic research, performance creation, learning, and publications. While the company’s work originates in the form, tradition, and structures of dance, it also speaks to the adjacent disciplines of performance, theatre, and social- and object-oriented practice.

Public Recordings’ supported initiative will extend the conceptual and artistic bases of their work, drawing on its history and reputation to clarify the company’s public appearance, sustain its development momentum, and grow their partnerships and audiences.

Toronto Dance Theatre

Toronto Dance Theatre Dancers PerformPhoto: Guntar Kravis   c  c

Toronto Dance Theatre is a leading contemporary dance ensemble dedicated to the creation and performance of original Canadian choreography. The company maintains a regular presence from coast to coast in Canada, and has toured extensively in the USA, Europe, and Asia.

Toronto Dance Theatre’s supported initiative, Reimagining Repertoire, uses the company’s significant body of work as an opportunity for creative and organizational growth. Four projects will address their repertoire’s formal structure, its potential for adaptation and remixing, how its content relates to topicality, and how these past works can inform their ongoing performance practice.

Volcano Non-Profit Productions Inc.

VolcanoThearePhoto: John Lauener   c  c

Volcano Theatre is an international theatre company based in Toronto. Using innovations in global and intercultural performance practice, Volcano creates theatre that explores identity, politics, history, and the contemporary human condition. Volcano’s mission is to connect Canada to itself and to the world, and the company has previously performed in international festivals ranging from Edinburgh to Rwanda.

Volcano’s supported initiative will enable the company to re-enter the international touring arena, pursue global showcasing and networking opportunities, and rekindle relationships with venues. These activities are intended to extend the lives of their productions, strengthen the skills of the company’s general manager and production manager, and foster new conversations between Canadian and international audiences through the performing arts.


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