RBC Emerging Indigenous Artist-in-Residence

Program Objective

Festival Antigonish is inviting applications for the RBC Emerging Indigenous Artist-in-Residence to join our team. Funded by the RBC Foundation, this program’s objective is to support and promote an emerging Indigenous theatre creator through funding and professional supports including exposure to new audiences, networking and mentoring, talent development and production resources.

The selected candidate will work alongside our artistic team on the development of their own creative project. Opportunities to be involved in most aspects of theatre creation can be accommodated, based on the artist’s interests, and the Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing.

We recognize that much work needs to be done in the Canadian theatre sector to address systemic barriers for Indigenous artists. This includes our own company, and we acknowledge that we must do better. We want to establish meaningful relationships within the Mi’kmaw community, and we see this program as an important first step towards this goal.


Applicants must:

  • Be theatre creators, or artists in another discipline with an interest in learning about theatre creation;
  • Be Indigenous, with priority given to Mi’kmaq artists in recognition of the traditional land on which we reside;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to artistic growth and mutual learning and sharing;
  • Fit our funder’s criteria of “emerging”, which includes:
    • In the early stages of your art career
    • Not yet achieved national or international recognition
    • Self-identify as an emerging artist


This position will be flexible in design. Working in collaboration with the Artistic Director, the resident artist will create a self-determined path, goals, and processes, based on their individual artistic focus, or their expressed desire to learn about various aspects of the theatre. Along with the artistic freedom to choose the direction of their residency, they will have the professional supports to help advance their career and to create their own new work. They will receive mentoring by established artists (including fees to engage Indigenous Artists/Elders as mentors), production resources, project support, access to new audiences, access to Festival Antigonish’s venue and offices, and opportunities to collaborate with established artists.

Possible paths for the residency:
If your interest is…
… Playwriting, we will provide appropriate mentoring, research opportunities, and dramaturgy, and a workshop production in the spring of 2022.
… Acting, we will work with you to choose appropriate plays/roles, provide mentoring and training, and the chance to work with established director(s).
… Directing, we will provide opportunities as Director or Assistant Director, depending on level of experience and specific interest, for professional and/or student & community productions.
… Any other form of storytelling through theatre, we will discuss a suitable residency plan with you.

Along with your main creative project, other opportunities may include:

  • Participation in Festival Antigonish productions
  • Community outreach and events, with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities
  • Artist talks, panel discussions, and readings
  • Delivery of education activities and workshops
  • Storytelling and cultural exchange activities
  • Other smaller creation projects proposed by the artist

The Resident Artist will be an active participant in the regular activities and operations of Festival Antigonish, which includes attending and contributing to relevant events, projects, and activities; encouraging an exchange of ideas, knowledge, and perspectives; supporting the growth of our artistic mandate and community outreach; and, providing a valued voice in our continued efforts to identify and address systemic barriers to inclusion within our company.


The Resident Artist will be paid a salary of $20,000, which is intended to cover artist fees, living expenses, any technology costs, and travel. Some project costs will also be supported, based on the residency needs.

The position will be a hybrid of in-person and remote working. The exact balance will depend on the specific goals and situation of the artist. This is designed as a 10-month, part-time position, however, we can also consider alternate formats such as a shorter, full-time residency.


The artist will submit a written report (no more than 5 pages) at the end of their residency, outlining reflections, program evaluation, accomplishments and outcomes, future resources, and feedback for improvement.


Please submit a résumé, and a letter that tells us:

  • A bit about yourself
  • Your background in theatre
  • Your specific area of interest, and one example of your past experience in that area
  • What you hope to gain from this residency, and what support you would need from us to achieve that

You can also include past samples of your work (optional).

Please send application via email to Ashley at aepettip@stfx.ca. If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, please call us at 902-867-3954.

November 30, 2021

Festival Antigonish is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) People first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. We are all Treaty people, and we are grateful to live and work on these lands.

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