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RBC Emerging Artist Program

With the generous support of the RBC Foundation, Canadian Stage offers residencies, vital mentorship, developmental support, networking opportunities and professional resources to support the career development of our city's emerging theatre artists.

This free multifaceted initiative includes:
  • Membership: Weekly e-newsletter, free workshops, and networking opportunities
  • Director Development Residency: An opportunity for 2 directors per season to explore strategies and approaches to contemporary performance practice, production, and administration.
  • Company in Residence: A residency designed to offer encouragement, professional development opportunities, and resources for a Toronto-based company in their early years.


The Emerging Artist Program is open to anyone who identifies as an emerging artist or administrator, and is interested in the Toronto theatre community and Canadian Stage. Membership is free.

Members are invited to free workshops and panel discussions led by guest artists and administrators on topics related to skill development and ongoing training. Members also receive our regular e-newsletter, The Relay, which includes workshop opportunities, ticket deals, show listings, job postings, and more.

Once you are a member, you will be automatically subscribed to The Relay artist newsletter, and receive regular updates with upcoming program sessions, notices from the membership, and special offers. There is no cost associated with becoming a member or participating in program sessions.

Director Development Residency

The Canadian Stage RBC Emerging Artist Program: Director Development Residency is an opportunity for professional stage directors to explore strategies and approaches to contemporary performance practice, production, and administration in a national and international context. The residency gives two directors each season the chance to explore their work and vision in an unrestrictive and supportive setting.

The directors spend a full season with Canadian Stage, seeing performances and meeting with staff members and guest artists on a regular basis. Canadian Stage supports the directors throughout the program by providing space and resources. The program includes a work-in-progress presentation by each participant at the Berkeley Street Theatre, as the opportunity to run a workshop for emerging artists on a topic chosen by the participant.

Meet the 2018-19 Director Development Residency Participants

Alyssa Martin

Alyssa Martin

Choreographer, Performance-Maker, Artistic Director of Rock Bottom Movement

Project: A dance-theatre work hollowmountain (working title)

"I’m eager to push myself during this time, further exploring the place where dance and theatre can play together in absurdity, possibility, sparkling joy and truth. It's also a special privilege to be able to witness the work of some of the artists I most admire and engage the upcoming Canadian Stage season with my own process."
Tawish Ben M'Carthy

Tawiah Ben M’Carthy

Playwright, Creator, Performer and Director

Project: A multi-disciplinary piece Our Daughters (working title)

"The RBC Emerging Artists program is an opportunity to further develop my skills as a director, actively investigating the process of creating theatre that is urgent and reflective of our societies."

Past Director Development Program Artists

Nikki Shaffeeullah, Ali Joy Richardson, nisha ahuja, d’bi.young anitafrika, Gideon Arthurs, Liza Balkan, Laura Bolton, David Brock, Lauren Brotman, Claire Calnan, Anna Chatterton, Lisa Codrington, Ashlie Corcoran, David S. Craig, Ryan Cunningham, Melissa D’Agostino, Mikaela Davies, Spy Dénommé-Welch, Alan Dilworth, Chris Dupuis, André du Toit, Waawaate Fobister, Gil Garratt, Karen Gilodo, Jack Grinhaus, Brendan Healy, Elif Işıközlü, Joel Ivany, Reza Jacobs, Ravi Jain, Marcia Johnson, Njo Kong Kie, Moynan King, Scott Lale, Adam Lazarus, Mitchell Marcus, Philip McKee, Alistair Newton, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, Adam Paolozza, John Jack Paterson, Anusree Roy, Katherine Sanders, Rosanna Saracino, Adam Seelig, Jonathan Seinen, Erin Shields, Rebecca Singh, Kwame Stephens, Kelly Straughan, Jordan Tannahill, Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Lindsay C. Walker, Gein Wong, Norman Lup-Man Yeung, and Jacob Zimmer.

Company in Residence

This initiative was created to support artists who are developing and producing theatre as new independent companies. The residency is designed to offer encouragement, professional development opportunities, and resources for a Toronto-based company in their early years.

Each season, a resident company is selected to receive access to Canadian Stage staff, space, resources, and a work-in-progress showing for a project of their choosing. The resident company also has the opportunity to assist in curating workshops for the Emerging Artist Program membership.

"We would recommend this program to any new company with specific goals they might not otherwise have the resources to make happen. We came to Canadian Stage with some very technically challenging projects that needed time and attention we couldn’t afford on our own. But thanks to the incredibly supportive staff and donated space we were able to take our work to the next level. We are so grateful for our time at Canadian Stage this year" - The Howland Company (15.16 Company-in-Residence)

2018-19 Company in Residence
Nowadays Theatre
Aida Keykhaii and Mohammad Yaghoubi, Co-Artistic Directors

Nowadays Theatre Company

Introducing socially relevant works that provoke public discourse and promote community engagement.

"To work with Canadian Stage and to be a Canadian Stage RBC Emerging Company in Residence is a great privilege and a wonderful opportunity for our newly found company, NOWADAYS THEATRE to introduce our artistic works to new audience. This will be an exciting journey and experience in our new home, Canada. Thank you so much for having us!" - Mohammad Yaghoubi and Aida Keykhaii

Past Emerging Artist Companies in Residence

Bad New Days
Pandemic Theatre
The Templeton Philharmonic
Single Thread Theatre Company
Theatre Caravel
Nobody's Business Theatre
lemonTree theatre creations
I'd Rather Dance
Suburban Beast
Theatre Kairos
The Howland Company
The Original Norwegian