Daniel Carter to step down as General Manager of Paprika Festival

Photo by Elliott Tilleczek.

After three years with Paprika Festival, Daniel Carter will be stepping down from his position as General Manager effective April 2021.

Daniel says, “I’m very proud of the work I have done during my time at Paprika. The progress of this company over the past three years has been remarkable and I’m extremely grateful to the past and current staff, mentors, and participants who have played a role in advancing this vital organization. It has been a complete joy watching over 70 emerging artists come through Paprika during my time here – developing their voices as artists and future industry leaders. I truly believe Paprika plays an essential role in the theatre ecology of this city (and country) and develops some of the most intriguing, insightful, and important voices present in the industry.” 

During his time as General Manager, Daniel spearheaded an organizational rebrand, introduced participant honorariums across all programs, oversaw the completion of a new strategic plan for the company alongside previous leadership, and developed new revenue through sponsorships and partnerships that saw the company’s annual operating budget double.

Photo by Henry Chan.

The Board of Directors at Paprika Theatre Festival wishes to thank Daniel Carter for his incredible contribution to the organization over the past three years. Daniel has been an invaluable leader, helping to shape and expand the vision for the organization. He has provided tireless mentorship for Paprika staff and led the organization into a period of unparalleled financial growth and new stability. His determination and ingenuity have raised Paprika’s public profile and secured exciting new partnerships for the organization. Over his time at Paprika we have witnessed his passion for theatre, dedication to youth mentorship, and commitment to advocating for needed changes within the industry. The Board wishes Daniel all the best and looks forward to following his next steps – we know he will be a game changer.

Paprika Festival is now accepting applications to the fill the role of General Manager, the full posting can be found here. Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2021.

Paprika Festival is looking for a General Manager to join our team!

Date Posted: December 10, 2020
Application Deadline:  January 15, 2021
Start Date: Training March 2021 (35 hours); Position start April 15, 2021 (Outgoing-GM will be available on a reduced hourly basis for continued onboarding)
Compensation:  Training $750.00; $14,000.00, less applicable deductions
Province: Ontario
City: Toronto
Term: Part-time

Organization Description

Paprika Theatre Festival
For the past 20 years, Paprika Theatre Festival (Paprika) has been the home of the emerging artist. We are a year-round, youth-led performing arts organization celebrating the work of young and emerging artists. Paprika programs include a strong focus on mentorship and training, and we are guided by the four core values of accessibility, artistic development, community, and youth leadership. Our educational programs include: Creators Unit, Playwrights Unit, Directors Lab, Paprika Productions, Indigenous Arts Program, Design Lab, and the Festival Creative Producers and Administrators. These programs run between October and May, culminating in an annual Festival. For more information, please visit, www.paprikafestival.com.

Job Description
Part-time position, with training hours beginning in March 2021.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the position of General Manager offers an incredible opportunity for an emerging arts manager or producer to lead a professional performing arts organization, promoting and producing the work of young and emerging artists. The successful candidate will have excellent organizational, communication, interpersonal skills, the ability to work well in a team environment, as well as some knowledge of basic accounting. Previous fundraising experience is highly preferred.

Major Responsibilities
Financial Management

Administration and Management


Marketing and Communications

Board of Directors


Ideal Qualities and Interests

This position is approximately 15-18 hours a week, with reduced hours in the summer months. Due to Paprika’s youth-led nature, the ideal candidate will be under 30.

Paprika is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. Paprika is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. Paprika will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on race, colour, religion or belief, sexuality, gender expression, family or parental status or any other legally protected grounds. Paprika encourages applicants of all ages. Accommodations are available throughout the hiring process.

How to Apply:

In order to apply for this position, please email your cover letter and resume to board@paprikafestival.com by January 15 at 11:59pm EST with the subject line “General Manager Application”. Late submissions will not be accepted.

For questions or access requests related to the application process, please contact Naz Afsahi at board@paprikafestival.com 

Paprika thanks all applicants in advance. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by email.

Please note: First round interviews to take place in February 2021 over Zoom.

Contact Info:

Name: Naz Afsahi
Email: board@paprikafestival.com
Website: www.paprikafestival.com

Paprika Festival is thrilled to announce its new cohort of participants for the 2020/21 year! Over 20 young and emerging artists will join our training programs, led by some of the industry’s most exciting artists, to learn, create, and share new work in the 20th Paprika Festival this Spring at Theatre Passe Muraille. 

After receiving a record-breaking number of submissions, 22 participants have been chosen to work with Paprika over the course of the year to develop new skills and work in playwriting, directing, collective creation, sound and lighting design, producing, and arts administration. This year we welcome artists from across Ontario, British Columbia, and India. 

All seven of our training programs will return this year – reimagined on Zoom. Participants will work alongside a stellar line-up of artist-mentors, facilitators, and guest artists to receive one-on-one mentorships, hands-on training, and develop new professional connections. Bilal Baig, whose new TV show Sort Of was just announced by CBC, returns as the Playwrights Unit facilitator; Katrina Darychuk oversees the Directors Lab; Kevin Matthew Wong returns to facilitate the modified Festival Creative Producers + Administrators program (formerly Festival Administrators); PJ Prudat, currently a resident artist at Theatre Centre, supports the 2-year Indienous Arts Program; both Steph Raposo and Miquelon Rodriguez return to mentor the second year of the Design Lab; and, Cynthia Jimenez-Hicks leads the collaborative creation process for the Creators Unit. 

Several participants from last year’s programs return this year to showcase their work. Productions program artists Con Queso Collective (Jeysa Caridad + Adriana Moraes-Mendoza) and Rose Goodwin return; in addition to Directors Lab artists Aly Gouveia, Rochelle R, and Abigail Whitney who will offer virtual adaptations of their work. River Cecil Oliveira, Lucia Linares, and Emily Townshend return from the Design Lab as lighting and sound designers to bring projects to life. 

Can’t wait till Spring? Throughout the year, we will continue our Hot Topics programming offering free workshops and artist panels. Upcoming events include workshops with Ange Loft, Akosua Amo-Adem, and Marcel Stewart. Additionally, Paprika partners again with THESPO Festival, based in India, to offer workshops this Winter and programming in the new year. 

We can’t wait to share more news with you as this year’s participants develop their ideas and work. Get ready to meet the future at Paprika!

Stay connected with us and join our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more. 


The Paprika Theatre Festival (the “Festival”) is looking for volunteers interested in joining the Board of Directors (the “Board”). We seek people who love theatre and are committed to helping young artists develop their craft within a supportive, inclusive and empowering environment.


Directors serve one-year terms. However, it is preferred that directors commit to a minimum of two years.


The Festival is a youth-led professional performing arts organization, which runs year-round training and mentorship programs. The program culminates in a performing arts festival showcasing new works by young and emerging artists.

The Board’s key responsibilities include supporting the General Manager and Artistic Producer in an advisory capacity, providing financial oversight, developing policies and best practices for the Festival,  fundraising on behalf of the Festival and promoting the Festival. After launching a new strategic plan in January 2019, the Festival is on track to deepen mentorship experiences while strengthening its operations with a focus on sustainable practices. 

Board members are expected to attend regularly scheduled board meetings (about 12 per year) and to assist with committee work according to their interests and skills. Board members are expected to participate in fundraising activities.

At this time we are seeking applications from people with experience in the following areas: accounting, fundraising, youth mentorship, theatrical pedagogy, and audience development. However, we are always looking for committed, active champions of our festival and encourage those with experience in other areas to apply as well.

Above all, we want the Board to reflect the community we serve. We are an equal opportunity organization and strongly encourage applicants of any race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability status.


Please submit your resume with a brief explanation of why you are interested in joining the Board of Directors to board@paprikafestival.com (Attn: Nominating Committee). Resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


Naz Afsahi, Chair, Nominating Committee
16 Ryerson Ave
Toronto, ON, M5T 2P3

Health + Safety and Access Notes:
As COVID-19 continues to pose a risk to public health, the recruitment process will take place over phone/video calls.

In the event the Board of Directors needs to meet in-person, the Festival will ensure all health + safety guidelines are met and followed. The Festival’s administrative office is in a physically accessible building.

Want to be a part of a community of young and emerging artists? See your ideas come to life with the 20th annual Paprika Festival! 

We provide year-round theatre training and mentorship. At the end of the year, your original work is showcased in the week-long, fully-produced, uncensored Paprika Festival (June 2021).

Paprika Festival is free for all participants.

We’re hugely dedicated to accessibility and diversity. We want to make this work for you (so that you can make your work!).

Applications are available HERE, along with program details, information about previous Festivals, and ways you can support. 

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the program or how to apply!


My name “Kanika Shani” means “marvelous black cloth” in Swahili. My father, born and raised in Dominica, picked it from a book of African names; their origins and meanings. Everything about my upbringing was to deliberately immerse me in black culture and history from the very beginning of my life. This includes all of the hard stuff. Over my childhood, I must have watched hundreds of videos about slavery, the civil rights movement, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X. I read about our Canadian and Caribbean black heroes and did presentations at school about Mary Ann Shad, Lincoln Alexander and Sojourner Truth. This work of my life brought a weight that I have carried with me my entire life.

I knew that Paprika needed to release a statement at the beginning of the week but couldn’t release one until the end of it. I’d like to try to address why.

As I grew older and grew as an artist, I came to appreciate this upbringing and deepened my education and immersion. I deliberately walked into the hurt, traumatic and uncomfortable places and brought that to my work. That is my responsibility to the people who have paved the way to my existence. It gives purpose to continuing my story-telling.

I have been skeptical at the sudden mass interest in black lives now that once busy lives have been paused and we’re all cooped up at home.

I have been angry at the rapid outpouring of public statements and didn’t want to participate until I could make sense of things in my own mind. On Monday I wrote a statement full of expletives and accusations; I was enraged, physically ill, deeply sorrowful and skeptical sometimes all in one day.

In the end, I realized that I couldn’t write a statement that would represent Paprika. Everything I wrote was raw, messy, and had no clear action items. Everything I wrote was me in the thick of whatever I was moving through that day and so I decided to offer that.

Black people, I see you. I’m with you. Of course our lives matter. We’ve been saying it all along but now more people are open to listening. This doesn’t change what we’ve always known; that black lives have always mattered and when we rise together we will not be ignored.

In the past two weeks, we have witnessed the murder of Black and Indigenous people at the hands of the police in the United States and in Canada.

In the past two months, we have witnessed a global pandemic disproportionately affect Black and Indigenous communities due to inaction, lack of access, and inequalities in health care systems.

In the past week, Black artists have shared their experiences in theatres, rehearsal halls, and dressing rooms, pointing out blatant racism and micro-aggressions.

This is not new. These are systemic problems that stem from colonial, white supremacist structures. But the amplification of these issues over the past weeks has built the momentum and container for institutions to be held accountable for their past actions and actions moving forward.

As a youth arts organization, with a recent history of being predominately POC-lead, we need to interrogate practices, processes, and policies that we’ve inherited through an anti-racist and anti-Black lens.

We must consider our role in creating a welcoming environment for current and prospective Black, Indigenous and participants of colour. And we must consider our role in shaping a theatre ecology that is welcoming to Black, Indigenous and artists of colour; a theatre ecology that listens to experience, and acts.

As an organization that connects the next generation of artists to established artists and professional theatre companies, we must consider our role in providing Paprika participants transparent information about who they are connected to that reduces the risk of harm and additional labour to the participants.

As an organization that works with the next generation of artists – artists who will work on Toronto stages, and take on leadership and management roles in Toronto companies – we must consider how we are preparing Paprika participants with the tools and knowledge to advocate for themselves and their colleagues.

At an executive level, Paprika believes in honest evaluation of the role we play in our theatre ecology, and realistic goal-setting that we can act on starting tomorrow. With that in mind, here are a few goals we are reiterating for ourselves:

Ongoing Company Commitments

Our current reality shows strong outreach efforts in the downtown core. However, we notice less applications from Black and Indigenous artists. Over the next 1-2 years, we want to hold 5+ community outreach events with new community partner organizations both in and outside of the downtown core on an annual basis. To do this, we need to build stronger connections to organizations and communities that centre Black and Indigenous community members both in and outside of downtown Toronto.

Our current reality shows a small amount of funds that are allocated to mental health resources for participants in our programs. With the knowledge that some participants are creating from a place of lived-experience, and often trauma, Paprika needs to have resources readily available that support participants, especially Black, Indigenous and participants of colour. Over the next 1-3 years, we want to increase these allocated funds and provide access to trained personnel to support these needs.

Our current reality shows a pedagogical approach that uses our Training Days to deepen artistic practices and producing acumen. How do we leverage these days that bring all participants together to have critical conversations about contemporary issues in the theatre ecology? Over the next 1-2 years, we want to ensure our Training Day programming is building space to have difficult conversations that prepare participants to enter workspaces wherein they have the knowledge and tools to advocate for themselves and their colleagues.

In Solidarity,

Below is a list of resources; organizations and funds where you can donate, reading and resources where you can learn and unlearn, and different ways you can support and amplify. Providing your time and sharing resources are just as useful as a monetary donation.

Black Lives MatterBlack Lives Matter Canada

Canadian BLM Chapters: Black Lives Matter Toronto, Black Lives Matter Waterloo, Black Lives Matter Vancouver

Canadian-Specific Petitions, GoFundMe Campaigns, Places to Donate, and Protest Information
(Created by @laibah.k & @mani515 on Instagram)

Black Solidarity Fund: Fund organized by TAIBU Community Health Centre that benefits over 40 charities whose work is centred around the well-being and advancement of Black Canadians. You can see the list of the charities benefiting from this fund here.

Black Health Alliance: A community-led charity looking to reduce the racial disparities in health access and care in Canada, focusing on the broad determinants of health, including racism.

Black Legal Action Centre: A non-profit community legal clinic that provides free legal services for low or no income Black residents of Ontario

PASAN: A community-based prisoner health and harm reduction organization that provides support, education and advocacy to prisoners and ex-prisoners across Canada.

Black Youth Helpline: Originally started in Manitoba, the Black Youth Helpline focuses on community development and support for Black youth across Canada.

Black Owned Business in the GTA Open during COVID
(Created by @j.a.l.i.l and @desperateidiot)

Map of Black & Indigenous Owned Business in Toronto
(Created by Black Artists’ Network Dialog (BAND) Art Gallery & Cultural Centre)

Mental Health Resources for the Black community in Toronto
(Resources compiled by Imani Walker for BlogTO)

Therapy for Black Girls: Online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls, including a directory of therapists you can search by your location and a podcast. 

Twitter accounts offering to caption BLM content for Deaf or hard of hearing folks
(thread created by Leigh Ann Cowan)

Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP): Organization that works to respond to the threat of HIV and AIDS in Toronto’s African, Caribbean and Black communities.

‘To Our Future Afro-Indigenous Kin’ Zine Submission Form
(Created by @wapahkesis on Instagram. Click through for information on how to donate to support!)

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto: Provides programs to the Indigenous community in Toronto.

Unist’ot’en Camp & Unist’ot’en 2020 Legal Fund

List of Indigenous Organizations to Support
(Created by Laura St. Amant, @laurast.amant on IG)

It Starts With Us: Honouring the lives of MMIWGT2S.

Support for Family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet

Support for Family of Chantel Moore

Twitter Thread: Donations to Memorialize Black Trans People and Resources to Provide Relief
(Thread by @IMANISHANTE)

Homeless Black Trans Women Fund

A Fund for Black-led Mental Health Supports

Its Nice That: A comprehensive list of petitions to sign, funds and charities to donate to, and resources for educating yourself and those around you. 

Anti-Racism Resources for White People
(Resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker & Alyssa Klein)

Ways to Contribute Funds if You Can’t Afford to Donate:

Tab for a CauseA Chrome or Firefox extension that donates to charity for each tab you open using ad revenue from banner ads on the launch page. For the month of June, the funds are being allocated to is the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Indigenous Arts Program | Photography by Henry Chan (2019)

Hello friends and community members,

We hope this message finds you well, healthy, and connected (in various forms) to a supportive community. We want to thank our participants, facilitators, mentors, guest artists and staff for their patience and adaptability. A lot has changed in the past few weeks and we appreciate everyone’s efforts in finding new ways to collaborate.

Based on the advisories and directives from public health agencies, Paprika’s Executives and Board of Directors, in consultation with participants, facilitators, staff and partners, has made the decision to postpone the activities planned for the 19th Paprika Festival, which was scheduled to take place May 25 – 31, 2020 at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio. Our priority right now is to ensure the safety of our staff, participants and facilitators.

Paprika will honour all contracts with staff, facilitators, participants, and guest artists.

We want to reiterate our commitment to participants in this year’s cohort and share the ways we are moving forward with them and their work:

– We will continue to offer all training programs digitally.
– We will digitally showcase participants’ learning, process and/or work in a format that is decided upon in consultation with each participant.
– We are currently looking into ways participants may be able to share their work in or leading up to the 20th Paprika Festival in 2021.
– We are committed to building professional connections for further development opportunities and connecting participants to industry professionals.
– We will be relaunching our website in the coming weeks to highlight participants and their work.

Additionally, Paprika will offer a series of free online workshops in theatre creation and professional development, plus other virtual community events, all of which will be open to the general public.

Once again, we want to thank all the participants, facilitators, guest artists, staff and partners for their support. These are challenging and difficult times, but we are grateful to be a part of a community that is understanding, and open to exploring new ways to collaborate and create.

Looking forward to the continued sharing of space – in whatever form that may take.

Much love,

The Paprika team

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Paprika’s General Manager, Daniel Carter at daniel@paprikafestival.com.

Stay connected via social media for future updates from Paprika @paprikafestival.

Re: An Update on Paprika Festival and COVID-19

Dear friends,

The health and safety of our participants, facilitators, staff, and patrons are our top priority. We have been communicating internally with our participants, facilitators, and staff to assess changing needs and to explore and introduce new methods of working and creating collaboratively. 

We have been watching the progress of COVID-19 closely, and following Health Canada, Public Health Ontario, and Toronto Public Health for up-to-date information about local risk. We recognize that the situation is changing day-to-day, and we want to do our part to keep our communities as safe as possible. 

With that in mind, we are talking to our various partners and stakeholders to address the feasibility and safety of maintaining our scheduled program meetings and workshops. We are assessing how and where we are delivering our programs, while ensuring our participants receive the skills development and support promised through Paprika. Though we are already experiencing the impact of COVID-19 on our organization through decreased access to space for workshops and rehearsals, we are committed to working with our participants to find solutions that encourage their growth as artists and administrators. 

As of now, we are planning to move forward with the Paprika Festival, which will run May 25-31, 2020 at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio. As more information is provided, we will reassess and make decisions based on recommendations and directives of public health officials. 

We have asked all participants, facilitators, artist mentors and staff to take the following precautions when considering attendance at any program events: 

We encourage all participants, facilitators, artist mentors and staff to make decisions that are best suited for them; Paprika, as an organization, will support their choice and work with them so we can move forward together. Social distancing does not mean a loss or lack of community or togetherness. 

We will provide more updates as the situation evolves.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Paprika’s General Manager, Daniel Carter.  

Much love,

The Paprika team

Where You Can Find Additional Information:
Toronto Public Health
Government of Canada
World Health Organization

We’re thrilled to welcome a new cohort of young and emerging artists into Paprika’s programs for the 19/20 season! This year many of our programs have expanded, and we introduced the Design Lab to offer training and mentorship to young and emerging sound and lighting designers. Also new this year: we expand our reach as we welcome two out-of-province participants who are based in Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador.

Over the next six months, a stellar line-up of artist-facilitators (including: Bilal Baig, Cliff Cardinal, Erum Khan, Tijiki Morris, Kevin Matthew Wong, Katrina Darychuk, Steph Raposo, and Miquelon Rodriguez) will provide training and mentorship to 28 artists. Participants will create work under the guidance of their mentors and will be showcased in the annual Paprika Festival running May 25-31, 2020 at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio. A stellar line-up of artist facilitators

Check out the next generation of theatre artists here. And find out how you can support the next generation of theatre artists!

Want to be a part of a community of young and emerging artists? See your ideas come to life with the 19th annual Paprika Festival! 

Applications are available HERE, along with program details, information about previous Festivals, and ways you can support. 

And make sure to check out the * NEW * Design Lab where you can get hands-on experience and mentorship in lighting or sound design! 


* NEW * Design Lab
Directors Lab
Festival Administrators
Indigenous Arts Program
Playwrights Unit
Productions Program
TD Creators Unit