Apply by April 25: RISER Edmonton

In My Own Little Corner by Carly Neis

Welcome to the all new RISER Edmonton project.

Since 2021, RISER has supported 13 new performance projects in productions, readings, and development workshops. This year, we’re launching a brand new two-year model in partnership with three local Festivals to better support sustainable, long-term art-making.


What is RISER?

RISER is a collaborative producing model originally developed by Why Not Theatre in 2014 to address barriers to independent producing in Toronto, Ontario.

In RISER, Common Ground works to take obstacles out of the way of you producing a big, bold new idea through a training program and (new in 2025) TWO presentation opportunities for your work.

Our support might look like:

  • Administrative support;
    AKA: How do I contract artists? Who should I talk to about (insert anything)? Am I missing anything in this email?
  • Grant-writing support;
    AKA: We’ll stay up 11:59pm to hit submit with you
  • Hands-on help building budgets and calendars;
    AKA: We’ve got some great spreedsheets for you
  • Assistance in liaising with partners and collaborators;
    AKA: We’ll connect you to all sorts of great humans in our city and across Canada
  • And helping you get access to other spaces and resources!

RISER artists also participate in “All-RISER Sessions”: 8-10 exciting producing workshops in things like contracting, working with technical artists, marketing, accessibility, and more facilitated by Common Ground with guest speakers from across Edmonton’s professional theatre industry.

So what’s new this year?

To address longer time needed to develop teams, funds, and (of course) the art itself, we’re expanding to a two-year model.

Upon being invited to the program, all four artists/companies will be paired with one of four Edmonton-based presenting organizations: Common Ground Arts (that’s us!), SkirtsAfire Festival, Azimuth Theatre’s Expanse Festival, or the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

In 2025, we’ll be launching the RISER New Works Festival. At the 2025 Festival, all RISER artists will share work-in-process readings and excerpts of their projects alongside other great programming celebrating new ambitious multidisciplinary creation in Edmonton.

Following their 2025 RISER Festival work-in-process showings, the four projects will continue developing their work towards a guaranteed presentation in 2026 at their paired Festival.

YEAR ONE (Summer 2024 – Spring 2025)

  • You’ll attend All-RISER workshops and get one-on-one assistance from Common Ground producers in grantwriting, finding project partners/mentors/artists, and accessing development opportunities (special thanks to our Development Partners, Catalyst Theatre and Citadel Theatre!)
  • You’ll also attend a couple of meetings with your presenting partner to discuss potential opportunities for you at their Festival.
  • At the end of year one (May 2025), you’ll share a work-in-process of your project at the brand new RISER New Works Festival, hosted by Common Ground Arts.

YEAR TWO (Summer 2025-Summer 2026)

  • You’ll work with your paired presenter to share your work as part of their Festival. This may be a full production, staged reading, workshop presentation, or anything in between based on what your partner is able to offer your project at its stage of development.
  • Your presenting opportunity will be scaled to meet what your project needs & what your partner is able to offer.
  • Throughout year two, all RISER artists will have access to the Common Ground team to help you get ready for presentation.