‘New Conversations’ reveals second round of investments

The British Council, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK, are to put GBP58,795 (€65,600) of investment into 12 creative partnerships.

“New Conversations” is designed to encourage and support the development of creative exchange and collaboration between organisations in the performing arts sector in the UK and Canada.

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 highlights 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.”

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

Mariya Afzal, country director, British Council in Canada, commented: “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.”

Director of Farnham Maltings, Gavin Stride, added: “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.”

britishcouncil.ca | farnhammaltings.com 

The applicants selected in round two are:

  • VibraFusionLab (Canada) and Charles Matthews (UK) Blurring the Boundaries: A collaborative instrument design meets integrated dance that will use creative workshops in London and Montréal 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: 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: The project 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: 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 ConnectionsAn 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: a programme to 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: 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): Two leading inclusive performance companies share best practice, learn from each other and will start working on a collectively devised piece.


  • Young Vic (UK) and Grand Theatre (Canada), London (U.K) meets London (Canada): The companies will share and develop best practice when working in participatory arts, in particular with vulnerable adults creating semibiographical participant led community shows.
  • Arika (UK) and Western Front (Canada), Land is a Relationship: A research project exploring Scotland’s role in the colonisation of the Americas.
  • Doorstep Arts (UK) and Antyx Community Arts (Canada), Imagined Futures: 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: 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.