Applications Now Open for 23rd Annual Paprika Festival

Our Call for Participants has just dropped and we are excited to meet you! We are inviting applications from young and emerging artists 18-30 across the GTA to apply to our six free professional development programs for the 2023/2024 season. If you think a professional development program, festival environment, and creative incubator is for you, we encourage you to apply for the 23rd Annual Paprika Theatre Festival! During Paprika, artists will have the opportunity to lead their own creative processes with the support of their professional mentors and peers. Programs begin November 2023 and culminate in a performing arts festival of new works by young artists at the Native Earth Performing Arts Aki Studio in May 2024.

This year’s programs include: 

Playwrights Unit facilitated by Merlin Simard

Costume Design Lab facilitated by Joyce Padua

Creative Producers facilitated by Aria Evans

Creators Unit facilitated by xLq (Maddie Bautista and Jordan Campbell)

Directors Lab facilitated by Philip Geller 

Indigenous Arts Program facilitated by Brefny Caribou 

Those interested are invited Explore all six available programs here and click through to apply. This year, we are inviting applications from young and emerging artists based in the GTA area. Programs will be delivered online and in-person in theatres and offices across Toronto.

Applications will be accepted through multiple mediums including audio, video, pdf attachment, or text box entry. We’re dedicated to make this application work for you (so that you can make your work!). If you need additional or alternative accommodations, please email

COVID-19 Considerations

The health and safety of participants, facilitators, and staff is our greatest priority. We encourage all Paprika participants, staff, facilitators and guest artists to maintain regular vaccinations, including additional doses/boosters. Masking during group sessions will be discussed and decided upon by each program. Masking will be optional for all company meetings, and no one will be discouraged from wearing masks. Paprika will continue to provide KN95 or N95 face masks (or equivalent) upon request. Masking and rapid testing of all artists and staff will be required throughout Paprika’s tech week in May 2024. 

Training Days + Company-Wide Meetings

Starting in November, we bring together all program participants for monthly Training Day sessions, starting with a Company-wide Orientation in the fall and finishing with a Post-Festival Debrief just after closing. 

Workshop topics ranging from accessibility design, to how to plan your festival tech, a Technical Theatre Workshop with an introduction to stage management and theatre design, and building a career in the arts. These workshops are held online and in-person, and are a chance for participants to meet and work with one another (and find future collaborators!).


Paprika seeks to lower barriers for all its programs. This year, we are offering transportation support when requested, food and snacks at program events, as well as a $1,200 participant honorarium. 

Company-wide Training Days take place in venues accessible to folks using mobility devices.The Paprika Festival tech and performances will take place at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio, which is fully accessible for artists and audiences.

Paprika advocates for gender inclusive washrooms, and will negotiate for gender inclusive washroom signage whenever possible. We use and respect people’s pronouns. Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, LGBTQ2SIA+, Women, Trans, Non-Binary, Newcomer, Immigrant, Fat, Mad and Neurodiverse people are welcome.

Internet and a smartphone, tablet and/or computer are required for participation in Paprika’s programs. Our programs are not accessible to Deaf or Blind artists at this time. Group meetings can be recorded and shared internally to accommodate schedule conflicts and emergencies with prior notice to the program facilitator and Paprika staff. 

The Creators Unit group meetings are held in a venue accessible to most mobility devices, with the smallest hallway 33” wide and small ¼-½” lips in some of the studio doorways.

Indigenous Arts Program and Playwrights Unit group meetings will be held online leading up to in-person tech and festival. 

Directors Lab group meetings and rehearsals take place in a venue that is wheelchair accessible, with elevator access, and the door to the studio and washrooms in the building are wide enough for mobility devices, but are not automatic. 

Programming space for the Design Lab and Creative Producers has not been confirmed, but we endeavor to secure accessible space whenever possible.

Deadline for all applications is October 1st, 2023 @ 11:59 PM EST