Indigenous Arts Program


The 23/24 Indigenous Arts Program is for emerging Indigenous performing artists of any experience, discipline, and skill level looking for personalized and flexible training. Four participants are offered space to be unapologetically Indigenous and develop skills to grow their artistic practice over two years. Available spaces vary year to year based on returning artists. 

In the first year, participants are provided the tools and guidance to create a draft of an original piece of performed art (could be theatre, dance, music, poetry, performance art…anything!) with a 30-minute public sharing as part of the festival. Mentors and guest artists help connect participants with the community and the Indigenous arts scene in Tkaronto and beyond (including Paprika partner company, Native Earth Performing Arts).

Participants have the opportunity to return for a second year in this program to further develop their practice and their original work to be featured at the festival and will continue to deepen their relationships with new collaborators and mentors in the community.


Brefny Caribou

Indigenous Arts Program Facilitator 2023/24

Brefny Caribou (she/her) is a performer and writer of Cree/Irish-settler descent based in Toronto. Holding an MFA in Acting from York University she focuses her practice on reimagining traditional theatrical hierarchies and telling Indigenous stories. She has developed her writing Savage is a Word in the English Dictionary through the Animikiig Creators Unit at Native Earth Performing Arts and Aluna Theatre’s Winter Artist Residency with an offering at the CAMINOS Festival (‘21). She was a collaborator on the world premiere of Aluna Theatre/Nightwood Theatre’s piece The Solitudes inspired by the world of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez. As an actor, most recently, Brefny is in her 3rd season at the Stratford Festival with credits that include playing Zhaboonigan Peterson in The Rez Sisters (‘21) and Beth March in Little Women (‘22).

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. 

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