Performer Submissions

The dates for the next Ashkenaz Festival are August 30 to September 5, 2022.

Artists are welcome to submit material at any time to be considered for future Festival or year-round programming. We do not have the resources to respond to inquiries about the status of submissions.

Artist submissions are accepted in music, theatre, dance, film, literature, visual arts, and children’s/family programming. Please read our mandate to be sure that your music or art fits within the boundaries of our broadly-defined mission statement. To apply to perform or present work at future Festivals, please send a one-page bio along with relevant support material (project description, audio/video links, work samples, etc) to eric [at] ashkenaz [dot] ca.

The number of artists programmed at each festival varies according to budgetary and artistic considerations. Generally, the festival programs about 50/50 Canadian/International acts. Of the Canadian artists, we maintain a strong commitment to local Toronto and Ontario artists, though we endeavour to represent at least 3 other provinces in addition to our own and we strongly encourage artistic submissions from outside of Ontario. Among international artists, there is generally a 50/50 split of US and overseas artists. We have programmed acts from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America, and are eager to spread our programming to new countries and continents we have yet to represent in our 20-year history.

Please be aware that the Festival receives a very large number of submissions (for a relatively small number of available programming slots) and we do not have the resources to respond to inquiries about the status of submissions. Please be assured that every submission is evaluated with care and attention. We will contact you if we are able to find a place for you in the Festival line-up. Artist selection will conclude in the late winter. If you don’t hear back from us by April, please assume that we were unable to include you in the Festival this time around. We do keep submissions on file, and many artists who cannot be included in the current year’s festival may nonetheless be considered for future festivals and our year-round event series.

Some other details and tips:

We are very open-minded and especially interested in projects of a cross-cultural nature. We appreciate imaginative programming proposals and are always looking for unique artists to present in Toronto.

Though there are often exceptions, we generally avoid repeating artists over several years to give other artists an opportunity to present a fresh program to our audience.

Particularly in the case of international artists, let us know if there are any special circumstances that would help us program you more easily – i.e. you have a viable tour set up, travel costs can be offset or shared by other presenters; you have other means of subsidization (e.g. travel/touring grant support from an arts council, foundation, embassy or consulate in your local region);

Bulky folders and fancy packaging for your demo kit are unnecessary – substance is more important than style. Please minimize waste and make your submissions as light as possible and easy for us to file.

Please note that the sequence of programming choices generally runs from the “outside in” – international artists are selected in the fall and early winter, while national artists and local artists will tend to be selected in the mid- to late-winter and spring.

Performing at Ashkenaz

Ashkenaz is defined by a spirit of generosity. The Festival is made possible by hundreds of individuals whose charitable contributions represent more than half our operating budget and allow us to present the Festival 90% free. The Festival relies on hundreds of volunteers to assist with the numerous tasks required to run an event of this magnitude. The organization is run by a small but passionate team of staff people who work exceptionally hard to organize this complex event. It is our hope that artists performing at Ashkenaz reciprocate the spirit of generosity shown by our donors, volunteers and staff, by embracing additional opportunities to contribute to the Festival. Ashkenaz artists are frequently asked to perform more than once (e.g. mainstage, secondary stages, workshops, cabarets, dance sessions, etc) and are strongly encouraged to participate in voluntary activities such as our Ashkenaz Parade. Our Festival is very much about community, and we hope our artists see the opportunity of performing at Ashkenaz as much more than simply a paycheque.

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