IGNITE! 2022

2022 IGNITE! Festival for Emerging Artists

June 8 – 11
Pumphouse Theatres

Multidisciplinary Showcase

The multidisciplinary showcase features artists creating art at the intersections of several disciplines. The hallmark of this showcase will be two interdisciplinary “blind dates” – pairings of artists who are collaborating together for the first time. 

Istotsi: The Land We Live On

Eight artists immerse themselves in the stories of the land we live on to create this beautiful and powerful collage of short films directed by Michelle Thrush and Sandi Somers.

Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society brought 8 artists together to immerse themselves in theatre creation techniques inspired by the land we call Calgary. They wrote, listened, danced, and played together under the guidance of a cadre of veteran artists and Treaty 7 Knowledge Keepers to create this collage of short films. Under the direction of Sandi Somers and Michelle Thrush, these artists speak from the heart to the land we live on.

Since Brass Nor Stone, Upon this marble bust that is not I

Starting in 2020, we started to see a form of protest where statues were either being taken down or used as a focus of protest to demand their removal.

Citizens were either pulling down or defending statues across the country. We are seeing a complex relationship at play with our local and national histories, and how our communities interact with them.

Statues and monuments are hinge points of a complex interaction of cultural forces. Who chooses the subject of the statue? Who pays for its construction? Who builds it? And who decides when that statue is no longer necessary?

What if the statue had something to say about it? What would they say about being built?

Maybe it would surprise us.

Sage Theatre Artistic Director Jason Mehmel is facilitating the work of 4 amazing emerging artists as they explore these questions as writers and performers. Julie-anne Bolduc is assisting the cast in scripting and dramaturgy.

Playwright Garage

Get under the hood of two work-in-progress plays by local emerging playwrights Emily Parkhouse and Julie-Anne Bolduc.

These brave playwrights are exploring human relationships and in the spirit of developing emerging artists, we want to give them a unique opportunity!

Playwrights often workshop with actors and directors, but rarely have a chance to try out variations on a scene with friendly audience members directly. We experimented with this digitally in 2021, and this year we’re going to do it in person!

Actors will perform a staged reading of specific scenes with feedback facilitated by a host. We appreciate the time and energy of our audience, and so these readings will be free or by donation!

Stargazer Live Podcast Reading

The Stargazer Initiative Podcast: Mission Recruitment is a new work developed for the IGNITE! festival to tell how all the main cast came to be. This anthology follows Lieutenant Amadeus Huginn as he crosses various locations of the known galaxy to find the next generation of young spacefarers.

Stargazer is a podcast production that tells an unapologetic science fiction/ eldritch horror story, starring a group of young people who know a world that is earth (or Terra) but has advanced in ways that we could only dream of in our lifetime.

First Day by Katia Waldner

Recently created for Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School Murder and Mayhem One Acts Festival of New Work

A student written, directed, produced, and performed play about coffee, customer service, and chaos. Full of over-dramatic workplace conflict and lots of laughs. Content warning for light swearing and stage combat.

Aiden is trained for their first job by a very unenthusiastic employee, Talynn. Their boss, Finley, checks on them to make sure things are going smoothly. They are, until Vinny, the sassy employee who never works, shows up and chaos ensues.


Closing Night Cabaret

Wrap up the festival at the Victor MItchell “Lounge” with host Chris Gamble, as he clowns his way through an evening of music with some of Calgary’s best emerging musicians. Guitarist Jake Levesque will get you warmed up with some cover tunes; followed by alt r&b musician, Zenon; and then DJ Yujinn Kim will finish the evening spinning some neo soul, 90s korean r&b, Afrobeats, Dancehall and Reggaeton. Get yourself a drink at the bar, hang out at our lounge, and mingle with the festival artists.





About the IGNITE! Festival

Every year in June, Sage Theatre presents the IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists – a  multi-disciplinary, 4-day festival of emerging art and artists. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s beautiful! With about 100 artists programmed each year, IGNITE! is a fantastic development, networking, and presentation opportunity for Calgary’s artists. 

IGNITE! is a festival dedicated to supporting, mentoring and presenting early career artists of all disciplines. IGNITE! allows artists to embrace risks in a supportive environment while providing resources, a bridge to the professional arts community, and meaningful opportunities for collaboration and community building with their peers.