CGAS RISER Found Festival

2022-2023 Fresh AiR Artist-in-Residence

<- Click to return to the Found Festival submissions homepage.

Now in its fifth year, FRESH AiR is Common Ground Arts Society’s Artist in Residence mentorship program dedicated to supporting the creation of new performance art in unconventional spaces. Have a wonderfully weird and totally new idea for a found space performance burning in the back of your brain? We want to hear from you!

This year, Fresh AiR is expanding to a two-year development model!

The selected Fresh AiR Artist-in-Residence will receive a development workshop at Found Festival (July 7-10, 2022) The Fresh AiR Artist-in-Residence will receive a development workshop at Found Festival (July 7-10, 2022) with creative and logistical support based on the needs of the project, including audience outreach and project mentorship.

Over the following year, the project will receive further development, creative, and producing support culminating in the premiere presentation at Found Festival 2023 (July 6-9).

For both festivals, the project will receive support to secure an appropriate venue through community or city partnership; front of house support; advance and on-site box office services; production management support; assistance sourcing, setting up, and troubleshooting technical equipment; marketing support; and archival video and photos.

The selected artist or company will receive an 18-month mentorship with CGAS’s Managing Producer & Found Festival’s Festival Director, including all the nitty-gritty goods, like:

  • Grant writing support;
  • Help creating, meeting, and smashing goals and timelines;
  • Help building a kick-ass creative team;
  • On-call creative brain picking, including dramaturgy and production support etc.;
  • Found Festival artist passes for all project artists; and more!

You will also receive financial support in the amount of:

  • A minimum $7,500 presentation fee, and
  • A percentage of ticket sales from your project, negotiated based on ticketing structure, capacity, and project needs (because we know every found space project needs something slightly different!)

How to Apply

There are a few ways to pitch your project for the Fresh AiR Artist-in-Residence program. We’re not picky, we want you to pitch your project in any of the following ways that feels most comfortable for you!

NOTE: All projects pitched for the Fresh AiR program will be considered for Found Festival programming regardless of the selection of the Fresh AiR Artist.

Choose one of the following:

  • Application Form: Click here to submit an application form!
  • Email Pitch: Send an email to admin(at) outlining:
    • A brief project description, including desired audience experience;
    • Your background as an artist/collective;
    • Desired venue(s)/location(s)* (specific locations or type of location, i.e. Wee Book inn or a used book store);
    • Potential community impact (how the project involves or effects the local community, any additional outreach activities you might want to engage with;
    • Potential technical/creative support you’d like to get it done;
    • and anything else we should know!
  • Video Pitch: Create a brief video (3-5 minutes) outlining the above points and send it to admin(at)
    • Don’t worry about any production – talk to your webcam for a couple of minutes and let us know what you’re thinking about.

<- Click to return to the Found Festival submissions homepage.

We take art out of conventional venues directly into the community. Found Festival celebrates art of all kinds: theatre, dance, film, poetry, music, sound art, installation art, endurance art…if it’s art created for unconventional spaces that challenges the artist/audience relationship, there’s a home for it in Found Festival. Found Festival 2022 runs July 7-10 in and around Old Strathcona.

Found Festival is for you, exactly as you are. No matter who you are, what you look like, how or who you love, where you’re from, how you got here, how you identify, how or if you honour whatever higher power, how you move through this world – you belong here. What matters to us is that you feel welcome. We believe in creating safer spaces that allow for creative risk. We uphold work that pushes the boundaries of audience interaction to allow spectators and performers to engage in more risk-taking and play. We honour the vulnerability of the artistic process, and the beauty of the exchange between artists and audiences. We commit to sustaining a safer space by respecting, and even boldly loving, everyone who contributes to it.


Original creations for unconventional spaces by artists at any stage of their career, with formal training or none, and of diverse identities, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.

  • Found space, site specific, immersive, and/or installation based;
  • Any discipline! theatre, dance, film, poetry, music, sound art, installation art, endurance art, and/or interarts based;
  • One minute long or a weekend-long endurance art piece or somewhere in between; and
  • Informed by or built to suit found space.

Projects that consider community impact, integrate use of found space and/or are informed by their desired locations, and consider the performer relationship to audience are ideal fits for Found Festival. You don’t need to know an exact location, collaborators, or production logistics yet – we will help selected projects get connected to spaces and resources to pull their ideas off! Selected projects will receive an artist fee, production support, mentorship, and Festival infrastructure support (marketing, box office, etc).

We find ourselves in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ) on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Nakota, Blackfoot, Dene, Saulteaux, Metis, and other indigenous peoples who have made this place home long before we settled here. For thousands of years, people have gathered here to share in story, community, and creative exchange.

We find ourselves thankful: thankful to play a small part in that long-standing tradition, a tradition carried on the shoulders of so many creators, builders, dreamers, agitators, and makers who came before us, and who will come long after us.

We find ourselves inspired: inspired by an evolving community of artists who passionately spark the magic that manifests when we surrender ourselves to the long summer days of this northern place.

We find ourselves grateful: grateful to everyone who rallies around this tiny but mighty Festival — the artists, the volunteers, the staff, the audience, the board, the mentors, the partners and sponsors, the funders, the believers. Found Festival exists because of you.