Thank you to all who submitted!

watch this space for next season’s artist calls.

Go to this year’s FEstival Page for details + tickets

So, what is it all about?

We welcome submissions from local emerging, professional, returning and teaching artists who identify as underrepresented on Canadian stages and/or whose performance proposal boldly expands community dialogue about an under-explored perspective, experience or truth.

We want to collaborate with vigorous Creative Teams/Leaders who will create excellent performances on a limited budget.

SHIFT will produce and present selected pieces culminating in 3 captivating evenings in the theatre, offering intergenerational audiences the chance to dig into a plateful of short, sharp works. A.D. Coco Roberge takes the lead on Festival programming with the support of the SHIFT Board of Directors. Application details at or email us!

What: SHIFT Festival 12
When: July 11, 12, 13 at ANNEX


  1. Fierce Truth Telling: honest, resonant, live.

  2. Spotlight on Underrepresented Voices.

  3. Supporting Healthy Artistry with funding, viable timelines, respectful collaboration, constructive assessment

If selected for the Festival, you get:

  • A financial investment in your project

  • Rehearsal space

  • 3 performances

  • Tech support

  • Online + print publicity including program

  • Archival footage + photography

SHIFT will incur all Venue costs, Box Office + FOH fees, while offering support wherever needed.


Honest, resonant live theatre-making on unceded Coast Salish territory means ensuring diverse representation onstage and off, amplifying historically underrepresented voices throughout the theatre-making process, ensuring accessibility both physical and financial, and engaging audiences in multiple vibrant ways, through both process and product.

Recent Festival History:

SHIFT Festival 9: Empowering Women, Empowering Wordsin May 2016 explored a theme that emerged loud and clear during our submission process that year; SHIFT worked with emerging female playwrights (Stephanie Iszak, Mily Mumford, Bailee Soleil Creed, CR Packer, Virginia Gillespie) to present several divergent pieces with a focus on multi-faceted, empowering roles for female performers. 

SHIFT Festival 10: Passion Projects in June 2017 debuted a solo show by veteran actor Allan Morgan called “Pride: For the Young Gay, the Un-gay and the Jaded Queen in All of Us”, while international stories about the brutal persecution of homosexuals filled the media. On the same program, SHIFT also presented an arresting piece in Farsi and English by director/creator Fay Nass.“Unveiled” featured an Iranian-Canadian ensemble, while President Trump enacted a U.S. travel ban primarily focused on citizens from Muslim-dominant countries, like Iran. Audiences from diverse communities mingled in the Firehall’s lobby, engaging with our lobby installation by the Troika Collective, “Walls”, based on a fascinating book by journalist Marcello DiCintio, about the many actual and impenetrable walls that divide groups around the world.

SHIFT Festival 11: Titillations featured the first full length SHIFT-developed show, by Yvette Dudley-Neuman, with a powerful all-female cast and band and a fierce message of self love. Our Festival Marketplace featured advocacy in dialogue with BC Breast Cancer, The Scar Project, and Knitted Knockers, and we were proud to present a Panel Discussion about embodied performance practices (No Body Is An Apology).

Currently, SHIFT is supporting the continued development of“Evolutionary Tango”by Beth Coleman, with dramaturgy by Lucia Frangione, following the story of a 108-year old woman who develops a deep connection with her android caregiver. The full length show tackles mortality, sexuality in seniors, the long term effects of trauma: issues currently underserved on Canadian stages, while challenging the way we care for and create community around our ageing population. A Professional Reading will be staged duringSHIFT Festival 12. We have also been supporting the development of Lori Triolo’s debut solo show“The Anatomy of Lying”with mentorship from Andrew Belser, Penn State Laureate. We are working with community consultants this autumn to develop a Policy and Procedures Manual to prepare for conscious company growth and in the new year, A.D. Coco Roberge embarks on a4 month international sabbatical, returning forSHIFT Festival 12.