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. Initially a two-year pilot, the first round saw £62,300 invested in nine new creative partnerships.
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 offer the first steps towards artistic collaborations and productions between Canada and the UK.
The fund is open to theatre and dance organisations in the UK and Canada. Artists and artist-led collectives can apply in partnership with an organisation and we welcome cross-art form collaborations (please refer to eligibility requirements and FAQs below for more details).
New Conversations will fund up to 5,000 GBP/ $8,700 CAD towards collaborative and sustainable creative projects that can deliver long-term benefits for the performing arts sectors in both countries. The aims of the fund are:
- 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 seed support for future collaborations and productions
NEWS: Second round of funded partnerships announced
British Council, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK are delighted to announce £58,795 of investment in twelve new creative partnerships between UK and Canadian performing arts companies.
Initially a two-year pilot, New Conversations has invested a total of £121,000 to increase cultural exchanges between the UK and Canada, allowing for more artist mobility and international opportunities, with the goal of initiating long term partnerships that benefit both the UK and Canadian arts sectors.
Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada in the UK, said: “We are proud to support this second round of investments in Canada-UK creative partnerships under the New Conversations programme. The richness and diversity of the successful proposals highlight the strength and wealth of Canada’s shared human connections with the UK, and we look forward to seeing the outcome of these innovative collaborations.”
Gavin Stride, Director of the Maltings, said: “This programme has demonstrated the huge appetite of UK companies to collaborate with their peers in Canada. We are delighted to have helped initiate and nurture cross-cultural collaboration and look forward to seeing how the selected partnerships flourish in the long term. We are grateful to Arts Council England for the investment and support that has enabled us to participate in this valuable programme.”
Mariya Afzal, Country Director, British Council in Canada, said: “Bilateral conversations form the foundations of the work we do at the British Council. The selected projects for New Conversations demonstrate the complex, nuanced and frankly fascinating work that can come to life when bridges are built and connections are nurtured.”
The applicants selected in round two are:
VibraFusionLab (Canada) and Charles Matthews (UK)
Blurring the Boundaries: collaborative instrument design meets integrated dance will use creative workshops in London and Montreal to establish a dialogue between maker communities and Disabled-artist-led dance and music organisations in the UK and Canada.
Broadleaf Theatre (Canada) and Blooming Ludus (UK)
Climate Futures is a cross-practice exchange focusing on the connection between object puppetry, verbatim/documentary theatre and participatory/interactive practice.
Secret Theatre (Canada) and Chapter Arts Centre (UK)
Secret Chapter will explore new ways of touring through the development of a new interdisciplinary work that is flexible, scalable and can adapt to different cultural contexts.
Toronto Storytelling Festival (Canada) and Mairi Campbell (UK)
The Taproot project will be a multi-artform workshop that enables participants to explore themes of land and the elements – Earth, Air, Fire, Water – which are found in all traditional stories around the world.
2b theatre company (Canada) and Imitating The Dog (UK)
Digital Connections is an exchange of ideas, knowledge, expertise, and practical skills that focus on the companies’ mutual fascination with using digital technologies in storytelling and contemporary live performance.
Moonhorse Dance Theatre (Canada) and Three Score Dance Company (UK)
Age on Stage Exchange will develop an advocacy document through creative research and exchange that aims to transform the way age is seen on stage.
Rumble Theatre (Canada) and Bertrand Lesca & Nasi Voutsas (UK)
Acknowledging place will use conversations and workshops to explore colonialism and its impact of the present day practice of the artists involved.
Joe Jack & John (Canada) and Candoco Dance Company (UK)
Joe CAN (and will) will bring together these two leading inclusive performance companies to share best practice, learn from each other and start working on a collectively devised piece.
Young Vic (UK) and Grand Theatre (Canada)
London (U.K) meets London (Canada) will share and develop best practice when working in participatory arts, in particular with vulnerable adults creating semi-biographical participant led community shows.
Arika (UK) and Western Front (Canada)
Land is a Relationship is a research project exploring Scotland’s role in the colonisation of the Americas that seeks to redefine the dominant perspective and narrative around the subject.
Doorstep Arts (UK) and Antyx Community Arts (Canada)
Imagined Futures is a digital exchange led by young people in both countries that will test a framework through which young artists can share work with peers internationally.
Maribé – Sors De Ce Corps (Canada) and Agile Arts (UK)
Cultural exchange is a two week studio based artistic research and dialogue between the companies core artists about common artistic practice and interests, the questioning of our differences, and verbal and physical investigation into potential collaboration.