Creative Producers

Part residency, part training program, Creative Producers offers a showcase opportunity for IBPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+ women, trans and non-binary artists under 30, which includes facilitated workshops, a strong network of mentors, and resources to support their Festival production. When we say Creative Producer, we mean folks who consider the act of planning, organizing, fundraising, and bringing art to life as PART of their artistic practice. Whether they identify as a producer first, or a creative first, in the Creative Producer program, participants exercised both of those muscles.

This program is presented with support from the Metcalf Booster Fund


Aria Evans

Aria Evans

Aria Evans is a queer, award winning interdisciplinary artist who’s practice spans dance, theatre and film. As a public speaker, activist and creative leader Aria draws on their experiences of being mixed race. Aria just started a new Assistant Professor position at the University of Winnipeg and they are a certified Intimacy Coordinator. With a large-scale vision, collaboration is the departure point to the choreographic work that Aria creates under their company POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Advocating for inclusion and the representation of diversity, Aria uses their artistic practice to question the ways we can coexist together.


Within the arts community it is clear that diversifying our skill sets is an asset to the viability of our profession. The Creative Producers program fills a void in our industry to give artists a guided platform to produce a work of their own. I myself am someone who learns by doing and I am so pleased that through this program we can offer two emerging arts leaders support for their practices to excel. This year we have been talking about values based approaches to producing, working within capacity and how to build reciprocal relationships. The two participants this year, Keira and Cassandra, have been inquisitive and thoughtfully engaging with these questions that are circulating at many different levels within our arts ecology.

The artistic work these two artists are creating, the professional relationships they are building and the ethics they are implementing into their learning is inspiring. I have the privilege of witnessing and supporting Keira and Cassandra to build their unique producing methodologies and could not be more excited for the 2024 Paprika Festival.

It is rare that audiences get to participate in the process. Behind the offerings that Keira (Generation Gentrified) and Cassandra (How to Be a Failure Before 25) share are hours of workshops and conversations around growth, critical path, budgeting, grant writing, scheduling, team building, pitching, marketing, negotiating and working with different theatre departments and so much more. We have spent a lot of time reflecting on how both being an artist and a producer, an Artistic Producer, spans across many different skill sets.

I hope you will join me in celebrating these two artists, their accomplishments and their futures.  

Aria Evans, 2024 Creative Producer Facilitator