‘New Conversations’ unveils exciting first round investments in UK-Canada creative partnerships

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British Council, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK are delighted to announce £62,300 of investment in nine new creative partnerships between UK and Canadian performing arts companies. This is the inaugural investment from the New Conversations programme, funded and delivered by the three partners.

Initially a two-year pilot, New Conversations aims to increase cultural exchanges between the UK and Canada, allowing for more artist mobility and international opportunities, with a goal of initiating long term partnerships that benefit both the UK and Canadian arts sectors.

Gavin Stride, Director of the Maltings, said: “We received more than 100 applications for this unique program and narrowing them down was a true challenge. Those selected demonstrate clear objectives and a curiosity to explore new ideas and ways of working. The hope is that this initial support will lead to long term partnerships. Our involvement in this programme is made possible through support and investment of Arts Council of England”


Bucket Club (UK) and Ghost River (Canada)

Is theatre dead? A provocation will explore, reframe and rediscover what theatre is – and what it can be – through week-long residencies in the company’s home towns of Calgary and Brighton.

Wild Works (UK) and The Only Animal (Canada)

Conversations will see each company participate creatively in the others’ R&D process in order to explore the potential for a new, outdoor, site specific co-production.

Flintlock Theatre (UK) and Gwaai Edenshaw (Canada)

Sovereign Nation will explore the potency of “empire” and how we relate to our shared past, and will lay the groundwork for a new international touring production.

The Marlborough Theatre (UK) and Buddies in Bad Times (Canada)

A Queer Conversation aims to produce an empowering exchange between the two organisations that paves the way for the LGBTQ+ artists to be able to tour more easily between Canada and the UK.

Forest Fringe (UK) and The Chop (Canada)

Playing Fields will explore land, ownership, ecology and the complex, inextricable histories of the two countries using the game of soccer and will investigate the possibility of a new collaborative performance.

Rachel Warr (UK) and Théâtre de la Pire Espèce (Canada)

Working Models will combine creative exchange, skills sharing, and network building, with the aim of opening new doors and increasing the visibility of visual theatre in both countries.

Poetic Unity (UK) and R.I.S.E Edutainment (Canada)

Through performance opportunities, leadership knowledge-sharing and work with local artists, Poetic RISE aims to build a sustainable international network for spoken word artists.

Action Hero (UK) and Mia & Eric (Canada)

Development of Collaboration is a residency that will initiate an experimental process designed to incubate a new, shared way of working and a long-term collaborative relationship.

Lyth Arts Centre (UK) and Pat the Dog Theatre Creation (Canada)

Women’s Room: North aims to create a template for supporting the development of female artists based in rural locations through exchange visits, new commissions and discussions.


The second round of New Conversations will be announced in March 2019.


Full Press Release in English / en Français.

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