Call for Submissions 2019

Artists, dreamers, innovators and change makers: we want to work with you.

SummerWorks is a curated festival widely recognized as one of the most vital platforms for launching new performance—locally, nationally and internationally. We are interested in continuously reimaging and innovating the possibilities for performance- how it is created, presented and experienced.

SummerWorks is a place for you to explore new territory, to take up space, be heard and take creative risks. We are currently seeking proposals for our 29th edition, taking place August 8th-18th in Toronto, Canada. Proposals are encouraged from creators working across all disciplines and artistic traditions. You may apply with more than one project, and more than one category.


DEADLINE: Monday December 10th, 2018, 11:59pm EST
SummerWorks seeks proposals for new and experimental performance projects that will be ready for presentation in August 2019. The SummerWorks Presentation stream offers artists a chance to share their finished work with a wider audience and to provide a platform for work to reach even greater success in the future. Proposals are encouraged from both established and emerging artists working in the areas of contemporary theatre, dance, music, live art, interdisciplinary art, and hybrid forms. Works for theatre, gallery, bar, outdoor, site-specific and immersive settings are welcome. Proposed works may have previous workshop development or presentation history. Of particular interest are projects, approaches and ideas that are new territory for the artist and/or the medium.


DEADLINE: Monday December 10th, 2018, 11:59pm EST
The SummerWorks Lab is a place for exploration, experimentation and process. We want to support new works in development and forge connections between artists and audiences. SummerWorks invites proposals for performance projects to be shared with an audience at crucial stage of development as well as performance experiments that seek to use the platform of the Festival as a laboratory to incubate and test new ideas. Of particular interest are projects that will benefit from audience engagement and feedback, with the potential of this to inform the future of the work.


DEADLINE: Monday December 10th, 2018, 11:59pm EST
What makes public space and what is the power of the public to make change? For 2019, SummerWorks invites artists and makers of all disciplines to propose projects that consider new possibilities for the public sphere. How do we create new realities together? What could be uncovered, reimagined or reclaimed? Of particular interest are projects that engage with the landscape of the city or experiment with unconventional performance settings—including, but not limited to: sidewalks and streetcars, libraries and parks, VR and online platforms.

*All project applications received will also be considered for participation in the SummerWorks Exchange, our industry activities during the Festival, including pitch sessions and open studio showings for guest presenters.



    • Deadline for all calls: Monday, December 10th, 11:59pm EST
    • No Participation Fee: As part of our ongoing commitment to accessibility, SummerWorks does not charge a participation fee to be a part of the Festival. A $35 reading fee will be due along with your application. This will need to be paid with credit card via the online form.
    • Applications are made online through this link
    • If you would like an alternative mode of application, please contact Rosanna,
    • The SummerWorks Exchange: Artists taking part in SummerWorks 2019 will have access to the SummerWorks Exchange. The Exchange is a series of events, launched in 2018, that facilitates artist and community growth. The aim is to strengthen the ecology of live performance in Canada and expand our dialogue and collaboration with the international arts community. Artists selected to take part in SummerWorks will have the opportunity to take part in workshops and be exposed to a large delegation of national and international presenters.As part of the Exchange, SummerWorks invites a selection of artists to pitch works or share short excerpts of work in a studio setting. If you would like to be considered for one of these events there will be an opportunity to let us know in the application form.
    • Notification: Applicants will be notified of our decisions by mid-March 2019.


Please review and prepare all parts of the application before you begin to complete the form. The form cannot be saved mid-process.


Please note, all applications must still be made online. This download is for reference purposes only.



Selected projects will be featured during the Festival (August 8th – August 18th, 2019).
SummerWorks supports participants with production resources and professional development opportunities while exposing them to the largest possible audiences, as well as industry professionals.

We provide mentorship and advice for all productions in the Festival, so if an artist is unsure something is possible, we encourage them to get in touch to talk through the idea. We want to hear about big ideas and help make them reality.

Participating artists and companies receive 70% of their box office revenue. The Festival provides a complete framework, which includes a venue, technical staff, a lighting designer, Festival publicity and marketing, technical and performance scheduling, box office, front of house management and administrative support.

Selected projects from the SummerWorks Presentations Call (excluding site-specific works), will receive up to 5 performances in a SummerWorks venue. Short-form projects (30 minutes or less) will be considered for curation within double-bills, providing the opportunity for audience cross-over and greater attendance. Selected projects for the SummerWorks Lab will receive up to 3 performances in a SummerWorks venue. Performances for site-specific projects or projects designed for a small capacity will be discussed on a case by case basis.

In addition to the support of the Festival’s presentation model, SummerWorks artists also receive access to free workshops from industry leaders in the areas of producing, marketing, production, audience engagement and accessibility, and also receive an artist pass, providing them with highly discounted rates for all performances, events and workshops during the 11-day Festival.


Founded in Toronto, Canada in 1991, SummerWorks is a curated performance festival of theatre, music, dance and live art; widely recognized as one of the most vital platforms for launching new work—locally, nationally and internationally. SummerWorks is the place where artists are free to explore new territory and take artistic risks; Rather than getting larger, we strive to get better. We are interested in continuously reimaging and innovating the possibilities of performance- how it is created, presented and experienced. We are committed to programming that represents a diversity of cultures, perspectives and levels of experience. We look to introduce artists and audiences from diverse communities to each other and be inspired by our similarities and differences.


Rosanna Lowton, Festival Producer: