Theatre Community Connections for Newcomers

The Centre for Newcomers and Downstage are partnering to create a program that will offer targeted mentorship to newcomers with past experience in theatre. If you are a theatre actor, director, playwright, designer or technician looking to apply your skills in Calgary, we want to help you build connections in your new community and showcase your talents. This is a brand-new project, and will be adjusted and expanded in future years.

Stage 1: Introduction to Calgary’s Theatre Community – Friday, May 18, 2018, 1:30-3 pm

An open session hosted at the Centre for Newcomers (Room 114, 1010 – 999 36 Street NE) for anyone interested in the program and learning more about theatre in Calgary. Downstage’s Artistic Director Ellen Close will give an overview of the professional theatre scene, key resources for artists looking to apply for opportunities, and answer questions.

Stage 2: One-on-One Mentorships – May-June, 2018

We will match three newcomer artists with past experience in the theatre with a mentor in their artistic discipline. Artists will meet with their mentors for a group session, and then mentors will be available for a further casual meeting to provide specific guidance. To express interest in this opportunity, please contact Bernice Shukairat at or Ellen Close at You are encouraged but not required to attend the Introduction session on May 18 described above.

Stage 3: Co-Creation with Mentors – June-July, 2018

The newcomer artists and mentors will be given a small honourarium, project budget and access to space to create a 5-10 minute piece that highlights their skills. This will culminate in a small showcase in Motel Theatre in Arts Commons with invited guests from the theatre community and the Centre for Newcomers in July.


Our mission is to support newcomers and the receiving community in becoming a diverse, united community, through services and initiatives that create conditions of success for newcomers and that foster a welcoming environment in Calgary. Read more about us at


Downstage is a professional theatre company with a mandate to produce Canadian theatre that creates meaningful conversation around social issues. Our mission is to achieve a social impact through artistic excellence. Read more about us at