IGNITE! 2020: Hyperspace Edition

A Festival at a Distance

With the global spread of COVID-19, and the mass cancellations of our beloved arts event, and much of society at large, we’re sure many of you have been watching the IGNITE! channels for updates about our 2020 festival. Self-isolation came into effect just as we were finishing our curatorial process, so it took some time to consult with our artists and curators to determine the best course of action for our festival community.

While it won’t be without its challenges, IGNITE! is PUMPED to officially announce that we are moving to a “festival at a distance” model for 2020.

Space. The final frontier…a minimum of 2 meters between all humans.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked our worlds like shields at 10% in an asteroid belt. But we’re firing up thrusters and blasting outta here! Announcing:

The 2020 IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists: Hyperspace Edition

The brave ship IGNITE!, her fearless captain, steadfast officers, and keen space cadets have determined there is no turning back. We may be spatially distanced, but like entangled particles, there is no severing our social and artistic connections. There are worlds to explore. Adventures to encounter. Together.

2020 IGNITE! will be presented via a festival-at-a-distance model. Our scanners indicate there are distant star systems that could be studied from afar in addition to non-embodied or even digital worlds. Join our science officers and space cadets on an uncharted mission of discovery!

Houston, we have a festival!

What is a festival at a distance?

The IGNITE! Festival will be presented during the original dates of June 10 – 13, 2020. Details will be available on the Sage Theatre website closer to the festival launch, but will encompass a combination of physically-distanced performances and digital presentations.

How are artists going to develop and share their shows safely?

The festival will be following all recommendations of Alberta Health Services and requiring our artists to do the same in the creation and presentation of their work.

This has and will drastically change how they develop and present their projects this year. We are working with the Series curators to adapt projects/processes or support the creation of new experiments on a show-by-show basis. Some will certainly be going digital. Some may wish to embrace the possibilities and tensions of bodies seperated by great distances.

How can I experience IGNITE! as an audience member this year?

Keep an eye on the website and our social media. We will announce our 2020 line-up shortly. Details about how to access performances will be included when the program is ready to go live. Expect most shows to go online…but maybe not all!

What is staying the same?

After consulting with our funders, we can confirm artists will continue to receive honorariums for their work – a key value of our festival. As in the past, all projects will receive 3 “performances” to showcase their work, a mentor to guide their project’s development, professional development workshops, socializing/networking events, and the supporting administrative and production resources of the festival infrastructure. We are committed to offering the same or equivalent supports for our rad, out of this world artists!

We acknowledge that while space, lasers, and Star Trek references are fun, the impacts of COVID-19 are no joking matter. Below are resources and supports if you or someone you know is in need.

  • The Rozsa Foundation is signal boosting and compiling digital performances in Alberta! Some planned performances are going digital and new performances are being created! Art will find a way… 🦖
  • Originating as a grassroots Google doc made for and by artists, this compilation of support resources is now being maintained and updated by CBC. The original, community-made Google doc is here.
  • The Canada Council for the Arts now has a compilation page of COVID-19 information.
  • CBC has outlined how to apply to the federal aid packages being rolled out by the federal government.  Changes to CERB now permit individuals earning $1,000 or less to qualify for income support. Hang in there 🖤
  • If you need someone to talk to during isolation, free counselling sessions are being offered through Owl Pod.

We urge everyone, including our artists, to follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services to self-isolate if you can. This includes avoiding even small physical gatherings of friends/family – not just public gatherings.

Don’t forget to practice your version of self-care during this quarantine/self-isolation period! Dealing with COVID-19 will be as a much about physical health as it is about mental health. If you find yourself in immediate distress, please contact the Distress Centre at 403-266-4357.

If you start to experience any symptoms of illness, call Health Link at 8-1-1. Wait times are long, but stay on hold and you’ll get through. It is important to report symptoms, as this provides vital data for countering the spread of COVID-19.

And finally, if you or someone else is at immediate risk of harm don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.