Dear SummerWorks Community,

Happy New Year, we hope your 2023 is off to a good start!

As many already know, this upcoming year is one of transition for SummerWorks, as we also continue to rebuild after the pandemic.

In response to our learnings from the last few years, operating with a smaller full-time team, and anticipation of welcoming new leadership this spring, we are planning a summer Festival August 3-13 that will be smaller in scale than recent years. We feel this will enable us to focus on care for artists, audience, volunteers, and staff.

As part of this adjustment, in consultation with current staff and the guest curatorial team, we have decided to forgo a Call for Submissions process for the 2023 season. This decision is largely based on two major considerations: 

The first is staff labour and capacity. Because the organization is going through a significant transition, as well as recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, this moment requires more of our staff than a usual year of operation.

The second is out of respect for the amount of time required in applying to the Festival. Because we know that SummerWorks will be offering a significantly smaller program of presentations and activities this year, we were aware that in the case of an open Call for Submissions, the chances of being offered a programming slot would be very low. This felt disrespectful considering the amount of time it takes to put forward an application to the Festival.

Instead, we have engaged a team of curators, who have been asked to draw on their research, ongoing artistic conversations with artists, as well as applications that have been submitted to SummerWorks in the past to collaborate with our staff on the programming and execution of this year’s smaller Festival. Beyond the artistic and conceptual nature of the projects, feasibility will also be taken into consideration. Artists of interest will be contacted directly by the curatorial collective.

While we are forgoing the Call for Submissions process this year, we remain committed to paying guaranteed artist fees, providing free professional development opportunities for artists in and outside of the Festival, and being in dialogue with artists about their work. For artists who have been in conversation with our current leadership and team over the last few years, we are intending to make introductions and will be passing along information to the incoming team in the coming months.

For artists that hoped to apply to SummerWorks for the 2023 Festival, we apologize if this news sidetracks your summer plans. And we apologize further if you were relying on this year’s Festival as a necessary platform in the development of your work. We hope this notification provides enough time to consider alternate paths.

We welcome you to keep our team aware of your work and artistic development through our email. These emails will be shared with incoming leadership to be considered for future programming.

General inquiries can also be sent to

We appreciate your ongoing interest in SummerWorks and thank you in advance for your understanding and support during this transition year.

With love,
The SummerWorks Team