CGAS RISER Found Festival


Originally developed by Why Not Theatre in 2014, RISER was created to address challenges in producing independent theatre. RISER connects senior leadership from the theatre community with underserved artists to maximize existing infrastructures, share resources and risk, help build new audiences, and support a commitment to create and innovate.

Since 2014, RISER Toronto has since engaged 300 artists, in support of 30 new Canadian productions which have gone on to 100 international engagements, reach 25,000+ audiences, and receive 50+ awards and nominations. Two-thirds of all RISER Toronto shows (including Quote Unquote Collective’s Mouthpiece, Motion’s Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape, and Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua) have gone on to have a future life after their RISER debuts.

RISER Toronto is made possible through the generous support of RBC Foundation, TD Bank Group, the Government of Canada, and a network of Senior Partners. The first three years of RISER were made possible by Toronto Arts Council’s Open Door program.


27 new canadian works
250 artists supported
50 awards and nominations
90 post riser engagements
6 publications
25,000 audiences reached internationally

RISER is going NATIONAL! With generous support from the Government of Canada and the RBC Foundation, Why Not Theatre is embarking on a national expansion of RISER, starting in Edmonton in February 2022. More Canadian cities to be announced soon!

Senior Partners

RISER relies on a community of Senior Partners to support a new generation of artists. Senior Partners are a diverse group of established theatre organizations that contribute resources, mentorship, and support to RISER artists. By pooling these underutilized resources, RISER Edmonton will support more artists with existing infrastructure.