CGAS RISER Found Festival


RISER Edmonton Call for Applications

Applications are now closed for RISER Edmonton 2022. Stay tuned for RISER 2023 applications, coming soon. Click here to join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on applications!

About RISER Edmonton

RISER Edmonton is a collaborative producing model for theatre and interdisciplinary artists to create and present new work. RISER Edmonton will support the development and production of four new Edmonton-based projects in the 2022 season

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

The 2022 Senior Partners for RISER Edmonton are Edmonton Fringe Theatre, Citadel Theatre, Catalyst Theatre, and Azimuth Theatre

Who is RISER Edmonton for?

RISER Edmonton is designed for project-based individual artists or collectives. Prior independent producing experience is an asset, but not a must. There is no specific age range. The terms “emerging” or “emerged” do not apply. We’re interested in collaborating with artists who don’t have administrative infrastructure or consistent access to production at established venues. In the spirit of this shared resource model, participants in RISER Edmonton must be generous, flexible, collaborative, and​ curious​, as well as willing to share​ and​ work in new ways​.

At Common Ground Arts Society (CGAS), We radically invite artists of all disciplines at all stages of their career to wildly experiment with process and craft. We believe in people and process over product: come as you are; create from where you’re at; learn, fail, try again, fail better; tend to your whole self; share art, share kindness, share in community. Mentorship and learning is at the core of everything we do: we’re still learning, we’ll never stop learning, and we want to share in those lessons with you.

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, or how you move through this world, you belong here. We believe in creating safe(r) spaces that allow for creative risk. We commit to sustaining a safe(r) space by respecting, and even boldly loving, everyone who contributes to it. We acknowledge that in order to truly fulfill that commitment, we must work with community and for community.

What do you get as part of RISER?

RISER Edmonton will provide you with:

  • 3 weeks of rehearsal space assigned on the basis of needs and availability;
  • A shared Lighting Designer, selected and paid for by RISER Edmonton;
  • A shared Production Manager (PM)/Technical Director (TD), selected and paid for by RISER Edmonton. NOTE: you may still want or need your own PM and TD for managing your show’s specific technical and building needs; the RISER Edmonton PM/TD focuses on coordination and management of the RISER Edmonton model itself; 
  • A shared Publicist, selected and paid for by RISER Edmonton;
  • ​2-3 eight-hour days of tech time in the performance space (schedule and hours TBD);
  • Technicians for load-in, load-out, and run of shows, selected by RISER Edmonton;
  • 6-10 public performances in The Backstage Theatre at the ATB Financial Arts Barns over a two-week time frame; 
  • Box office, ticketing, and Front of House support via lead Senior Partner Edmonton Fringe Theatre. NOTE: ticket prices and policies will be set by RISER Edmonton in consultation with the each RISER company with considerations for Offer What You Will options;
  • 100% of net Box Office revenues; and
  • Ongoing and project specific mentoring, assistance, and consultation with Common Ground Arts Society and Why Not Theatre artistic and administrative staff in all areas of producing at individual & group meetings.

What don’t you get as part of RISER Edmonton?

Since this is a shared producing model, not a presentation series or festival, some responsibilities fall primarily to you, including: 

  • Audience outreach and ticket sales. NOTE: RISER Edmonton will help participating artists develop cross-promotional, pass, and/or ticket bundle options, including Offer What You Will options; 
  • Show-specific marketing, including print and digital outreach. NOTE: RISER Edmonton will support general marketing;
  • Props, costumes, and set pieces specific to your production; and
  • Contracting and compensating your artists and creative team.


You are an independent artist, artist collective, or company who: 

  • Has a show in development, or has an idea of a show you hope to produce in the next year; 
  • is a project-based artist/collective/company. Sorry, if you receive any level of operational funding, this opportunity is not for you; 
  • is available for tech and performances between January 24 and March 6, 2022, exact schedule TBD; and
  • is available for 8-10 All-RISER meetings between June 2021 and January 2022, exact dates TBD based on participant availability.

How to apply:

NOTE: Applications are now closed. Stay tuned for updated submission guidelines for RISER 2023.

Submit a letter (max 2-pages), video, and/or audio-recording (max 5 minutes) telling us:

  • Who you are, what you do, and why you want to be a part of RISER Edmonton; 
  • About your artistic experience; 
  • If relevant, past producing experience; 
  • An overview of your project: what is it, why are you passionate about it, who’s involved (confirmed and even hopeful); and
  • What you’re hopeful to gain from being a part of RISER.
  • In addition to your letter or video, please include a brief budget overview outlining anticipated artist/material expenses and funding goals. A full production budget is not necessary, just enough for the jury to understand your team and project’s scale.

How are RISER Edmonton applications evaluated?

Participants in RISER are selected by a jury of diverse representatives from the local community, former RISER project participants, and overseen by Common Ground Arts Society and Why Not Theatre. We want you to take artistic risks. We do not focus on the artistic merit of the production. ​We focus on the artist: who they are and why they need a chance to show their work. The evaluation criteria are: 

  • Need: whether RISER Edmonton is essential for your show’s trajectory; 
  • ​Diversity: of culture, language, form, content, etc.;​
  • Feasibility:​ financial, logistical, and technical; and 
  • Experience​: what you have done before this