2021 Full Showcases



Thursday, November 19 2021 7:30-9:30
Barcode | Sweat & Ink

Sweat & Ink is an exploration of memory and relationships through acrobatic metaphor- four humans wrestle with their own imperfections and limitations as they rub against the rough edges of memory’s fallibility. Would perfect memory lead to perfect happiness, or can there be grace in our imperfection, beauty in our struggle as we tumble through life’s challenges? Beautiful, messy, painful and funny, it is a show to make you gasp, cry, laugh and wonder. 


 Barcode started working together in 2011 when Tristan, Alexandra and Eric met at the National Circus School of Montreal. They toured together for three years with The 7 Fingers as original cast members on the show Sequence 8, thrilling audiences around the world. Soon after they were joined by Eve Bigel, a talented hand to hand flyer from France. Together their careers have produced a string of highlights including a gold medal at SolyCirco festival for Alexandra’s hoop act, a bronze medal at the Cirque de Demain festival for both Eric’s cigar box juggling and Tristan and Eve’s hand to hand acts, and a silver medal for the trio’s Russian Bar act, as well as the Audience Choice award. They have performed on France’s Got Talent, It’s Showtime, and multiple times on Le Plus Grande Cabaret du Monde. In 2019, the team’s passion and creative spirit pushed them to co-found, with Sophie Picard, Cirque Barcode. The four artists are at once co-founders, co artistic-directors and artists onstage, with Sophie as co-founder and General Manager of the company. Barcode’s first original theatrical show, Sweat & Ink premiered in 2019. Their second show, Branché, a collaboration with the group Acting for Climate, works to realize their goal of more sustainable touring and use their circus to draw attention to the climate crisis.

Monday, November 22 2021 7:30pm-9pm  
Against the Grain Theatre | Messiah/Complex

The multi-award-winning innovative team at Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) is proud to present Messiah/Complex, a bold interpretation of Handel’s Messiah, created in partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). Fusing diverse choral traditions and voices from every Province and Territory in Canada with one of the most enduring classical works of all time, Messiah/Complex showcases multilingual translations, and features a diverse cast of soloists and choirs from every Province and Territory across Canada, accompanied by the exceptional sounds of the TSO, conducted by Johannes Debus (Canadian Opera Company), and co-directed by Joel Ivany (Against the Grain Theatre), and Reneltta Arluk (Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity).    


Established in 2010, Against the Grain Theatre is an award-winning Canadian opera company committed to revitalizing the operatic art form by presenting an eclectic array of musical works in unconventional spaces and innovative ways. With a mandate to create and introduce audiences to outside-the-box opera experiences, we perform fresh, daring re-interpretations of classical repertoire in unconventional spaces to create a thrilling, intimate, unforgettable experience shared between our artists and audiences.

Tuesday, November 23 2021 7:30-9:30
Decidedly Jazz Danceworks | Suspending Disbelief 

suspending disbelief A dance video production created and choreographed by Kimberley Cooper suspending disbelief is a series of shifting and morphing dance pieces created in and about this time of instability, when it feels like tectonic plates beneath our feet are constantly shifting, emotions are running high, dreams are strange. With one foot firmly rooted in rhythm, Cooper feels compelled to dance forward with quirk, hope and bravery, asking her audience to join her in suspending their disbelief, as defined by Wikipedia “the intentional avoidance of critical thinking or logic in examining something surreal… in order to believe it for the sake of enjoyment.”   


Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) is one of very few dance companies in North America dedicated to jazz dance. A creation-based company, DJD presents new work annually, most often with live original music. Their work is often referred to as “Music for the eyes.” DJD was born in 1984 to keep the spirit of jazz alive and they have created over 70 original productions in their 37-year history, which they perform in their home base of Calgary as well as touring across Canada and beyond.

Jazz is born of Black American culture and its roots lie in the turbulent history of the African American experience. We acknowledge this history and recognize ourselves as guests in this form. We are inspired by and benefit from traditions born of a culture that is not our own. We strive to be respectful in honouring the roots and history of jazz, we dance with reverence for those who came before us, we dig deep to go forward, we strive to appreciate rather than appropriate.

 Register for the conference, today!