Taking flight: Scene festivals

The Gryphon Trio will perform at the upcoming Ontario Scene festival © John Beebe

The NAC’s biennial Scene festivals showcase hundreds of established and emerging artists from different regions of Canada. It began with Atlantic Scene in 2003, followed by Alberta Scene (2005), Quebec Scene (2007), BC Scene (2009), Prairie Scene (2011), Northern Scene (2013) and the upcoming Ontario Scene from April 28 to May 10, 2015.

A major part of the Scene festivals is the Presenters Program, which helps pave the way for Scene artists to perform their works again once the Scene has ended.

So far, 445 presenters and talent scouts from 27 countries have come to see performances and meet with artists. The result is more than 495 performance bookings at major festivals and performance venues, representing well over $1.4 million in fees for artists.

“Nothing makes us happier than to see the incredibly talented Canadian artists who perform at the Scenes getting a chance to showcase their work for new audiences,” said Scene Producer and Executive Director Heather Moore.

Norman, an innovative theatre work by Montreal’s Lemieux Pilon 4D Art, received its world premiere at the NAC’s Quebec Scene festival in 2007. As a result, Norman was subsequently booked by the Festival Internacional Chihuahua in Mexico, the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá in Colombia, Espace Jean Legendre in Compiègne, France, and twice by the Macrobert Centre in Stirling, Scotland.

“Performing in other countries is a real boost, and a tremendous opportunity in an artist’s career,” Moore said. “But there’s also the larger sense, which is that when our artists perform in other countries, Canadian culture just soars even higher.”

More Scene artist bookings around the globe:

Dakhká Khwáan Dancers (Northern Scene)
National Museum of the American Indian
Washington, D.C., November 2013

Leela Gilday (Northern Scene) at the
National Museum of the American Indian
New York City, January 2014

Tanya Tagaq (Northern Scene) and her project Nanook of the North
Dublin Fringe Festival
September 2014, and several other bookings

Wen Wei Dance and Kidd Pivot
(presented by NAC Dance during BC Scene)
Venice Dance Biennale, 2010

Soprano Simone Osborne (BC Scene)
Hong Kong Arts Festival, 2010

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