Creators Unit


The 23/24 Creators Unit is for individual artists interested in collective creation and performance. This program is composed of poets, musicians, dancers, actors, performers, drag artists, clowns, designers, and anyone who is interested in being part of a tight-knit creative team. This year, we are inviting creators to collectively devise a piece on the theme of FAST FASHION.

Two facilitators will guide a group of four in the creation of the entire project, from first ideas to opening night. The ensemble will be trained in quick changes, fashion & styling, drag, performance art, dance, physical theatre, and more. A workshop presentation of this collective creation is shared at the annual Paprika Festival. 

We encourage new artists and artists in the first few years of their practice to apply.

Applicants must be available Monday October 23 or Thursday October 26 from 7-9PM ET for an in-person audition in Toronto.



Creators Unit Facilitators 2023/24

xLq is a queer performance duo comprised of Jordan Campbell (STARLIGHT) and Maddie Bautista. We are electro-punk popstars, we create interactive theatrical playgrounds, complicit audience experiences and radical performance rituals. xLq works in a queer pop aesthetic, using drag, fashion, music, theatre and dance.

Their original performance creation 4inXchange received Nightswimming’s 5×25 Commission and won the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award at the 2018 SummerWorks Festival, then proceeded to tour to the rEvolver Festival 2019 (Vancouver, BC), FEM FEST 2019 (Winnipeg, MB), the Grand Theatre (Fergus, ON), Registry Theatre (Kitchener, ON), and Waterford Old Town Hall (Waterford, ON).

xLq is currently in residence with Nightswimming Theatre, where they are developing a new large-scale interactive performance called Are You The One?

Follow @xLqpopart on Instagram for all the latest parties and events.

Training Days + Company-Wide Meetings

We bring together all program participants for monthly Training Day sessions, starting with a Company-wide Orientation in November 2023 and finishing with a Post-Festival Debrief in May 2024.

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!).


Support You Receive


Toronto & Online

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. 


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.