IGNITE! 2024 Festival of Emerging Artists

“MIDNIGHT BLOOM” Art by Kristina Miko

Get ready to dive into the IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists, a vibrant celebration of creativity from Calgary and beyond. 

This multi-disciplinary, four-day event showcases the bold and beautiful work of emerging artists. IGNITE! offers a fantastic opportunity for development, networking, and presentation for Calgary’s artistic community. Discover the future of art at IGNITE!

Event Details

📅 June 5 – 8, 2024

⏰  7 PM | 8:15 PM | 9:30 PM

📍 Pumphouse Theatre 2140 Pumphouse Ave SW


Festival Passes

Grab a festival pass today! Get the most bang-for-your-buck with a Festival Day Pass for $25 or a 4-Day Pass for $60.

Individual Show Tickets

If you’re planning to check out a show, we have a $10 ticket option.

About the IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists

IGNITE! is a  multi-disciplinary, 4-day festival of emerging art and artists. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s beautiful! With 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.



  • Wed, June 5, 2024 at 7:00pm
  • Thurs, June 6, 2024 at 8:15pm
  • Fri, June 7, 2024 at 7:00pm 

Co-Written and Directed by: Marisa Roggeveen and Eryn Dallen

Performers: Eryn Dallen, Sarah Haggeman, Kaitlyn Olfert, and Joelle Rondeau.

Get ready to ‘open up the jar’ and see how this all-female improv troupe can get themselves out of ‘sticky situations’! Who will ‘unstick’ themselves from unknown, unexpected, and unscripted ‘Booby Traps’? Who will ‘stick’ to strategy, cunning, wit, and … more strategy, to impress The Host the most? Who will collect enough points to claim the coveted ‘sticky jar’? This structured improv show blends planned segments with spontaneous humor, offering an unforgettable theatre experience that the audience won’t want to ‘peel’ themselves away from! Get ‘stuck’ in your seats for a booby-filled performance, where the troupes quick wit and live audience participation, create an unparalleled and unpredictable ‘stick-tuation’. ‘Stick’ with us and we’ll show you our booby (traps)!

Directed by: Iván Guevara García
Written by: Iván & the Cast
LOLITA – Abigail Anna Monarrez
RICKY – Andrés Maximiliano García Muñoz
CHUY – Elizabeth Houghton
MARTIN – Fernando García Reyes
LUCY – Keith Perez Boniol

Get ready for some Mexican theatre, as we adapt a Danza De Los Viejitos traditional dance into a full mask show! This performance is a celebration of life through a love story. It is a reminder that it’s never too late to find love, and that our youthfulness is not defined by age. Full of dance, comedy and romance this modern adaptation is a blend of culture and the power of theatre.

Thank you to: Casa Mexico, The Canadian Academy of Mask & Puppetry, Hispanic Arts Society


  • Wed, June 5, 2024 at 8:15pm
  • Fri, June 7, 2024 at 9:30pm
  • Sat, June 8, 2024 at 8:15pm

Created and performed by Audrey Badzgon with Jordan Wilson

The Silly Little Clown has been working very hard to put on a show for you all! Join us on a whimsical and expressive performance that combines elements of dance, comedy, and theatricality. Amidst the choreographed chaos, a story unfolds, but it’s a tale fraught with tension and uncertainty. What harm is there in laughing at a Silly Little Clown?

Written by: Marlo Hepburn, Ciarán Volke
Directed by: Joseph McManus
Cast: Marlo Hepburn, Ciarán Volke

The Calgary Zoo is partnering with IGNITE! to bring the animals on stage for a province-mandated enrichment experience. The open mic will feature a handful of animals performing stand-up, poetry, and music.

Written by: The Collective
Directed by: Rebecca Orion
Cast: Mira Maschmeyer, Jade Bartlett, Siobhan Cooney, Jack Orion

Be transported to a 19th century French brothel and dance hall where a famous murderer is on the loose. A ghost writer, a dancer, a singer, and a painter take it upon themselves to stop the killings before they become targets themselves. This fully devised piece features everything good: drugs, sex, and smoky jazz.


  • Thurs, June 6, 2024 at 7:00pm
  • Fri, June 7, 2024 at 9:30pm
  • Sat, June 8, 2024 at 9:30pm

Choreographed by: Paige Wichers
Performed by: Taylor Wichers

Embark on a captivating journey as two dancers gracefully navigate the delicate balance between each other, the space, and movement. Witness the mesmerizing interplay of bodies in motion as they seamlessly intertwine, each step echoing a silent dialogue of connection and harmony. Through their mesmerizing choreography, they invite you to experience the profound beauty found in the symbiotic relationship between human expression and the boundless expanse of the world around us.

Choreographed by: Marlea van Grinsven
Danced by: Sofija Trkulja, Izzy Gallant and Marlea van Grinsven

This is a dance all about belief and hope and how support and connection from each other can help grow our beliefs. The idea is that we are stronger together, and that we always are happier together. I wanted to showcase the importance that the arts, and dance specifically, have in our lives. With all the outside influences that we are subjected to on a daily basis, we need something to believe in. Something that brings us joy and peace, and for me that is dance. I hope that everyone finds their passion to believe in and I hope that we all dance.

Written by AJ Hrooshkin and Samantha Fraughton
Directed by: Giulia Romano

Nic Pratt- Ash
Daniel Perryman- Hemingway
Ommata Udalor- Pilot/Flight Attendant

Armed with the attitude of a Noir Detective and a copy of Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea,” Ash, a despondent nonbinary writer, accidentally falls in love-at-first-sight with a radiant Queer flight attendant. The only question is, can Ash bring themself to make a move before the plane lands?


  • Thurs, June 6, 2024 at 8:15pm
  • Fri, June 7, 2024 at 8:15pm
  • Saturday, June 8, 2024 at 9:30pm

Written by Isadore Huang
Directed by Sophia Crabbe
Performed by: Nicci Rvachew and Siena Yee

An AI companion and one of its handlers come to blows.

Written by: Macie Lockhart
Directed by: Sabrena Shah Baigzada
Cast: Sarah Innes, Macie Lockhart

Tea Parties With Friends explores how the transition to adulthood can change friendships. How is it that imaginary tea parties between the closest of friends turn so suddenly into coffee dates with a stranger?


  • Wed, June 5, 2024 at 8:15pm
  • Thurs, June 6, 2024 at 9:30pm 
  • Sat, June 8, 2024 at 8:15pm 

Written by: Jaime Cesar
Directed by: Gina Pavone
Cast: Jaime Cesar (Jairo), Ben Gaudet (Nel)

The project tells the story of Jairo as he fights his conditioned insomnia. Jairo digs into his memories as a therapy to heal, and during this journey, he is accompanied by the supporting character Nel. Their candid and fun conversations expose unpopular opinions on topics such as colorism, classism, and poverty in certain Latin American regions. The play aims to inspire and exemplify the power of mind and will. The audience will also be informed about mental health concerns that are seldom discussed.


  • Wed, June 5, 2024 at 9:30 pm
  • Thu, June 6, 2024 at 9:30 pm
  • Sat, June 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm

Directed, acted, written and designed by Cassie Holmes and Sage Cannon.

“Listen In” is a theatre performance that takes place in darkness that explores private conversations. Audience members are invited to blindfold themselves and interact with the story through sensory elements.


  • Wed, June 5, 2024 at 9:30pm
  • Fri, June 7, 2024 at 8:15pm 
  • Sat, June 8, 2024 at 7:00pm

Written By: Collective Creation
Directed By: Madeleine Taylor-Gregg
Stage Manager: Elizabeth Houghton
Sound Design: Ruby Swan
Lighting Design: Abigail Weeks
Costume Design: Paige Prystupa

Katelyn Morishita as Alice
Ruby Gaudet as Corey
Joti Janda as Lynn
Charlotte Hurdman as Nell
Joyce Kabengele as Petra
Mariza Iturbe-Becerril as Skip
Zoë Arthur as Tara

With contributions from Kat Armstrong

Thank you to CYPT, Quest Theatre and everyone who has workshopped or participated in this piece in the past.

Ever get that sinking feeling that your body isn’t yours? 7 women navigate life and survival in a community where abortion is punishable by burning at the stake. Come home, come home. Do not lose your way. Walk the well-tread path of prudence. Stay, stay, stay,


The Major Matt Mason Collective in partnership with Sage Theatre and the IGNITE! Festival are proud to be presenting five works-in-progress as part of this year’s festival!

These works in development are the fruits of our 2023/2024 Wildfire programming, including the artists who won the Wildfire National Playwriting Competition and those who have been part of this year’s Wildfire Development Unit.


SHOWCASE #1 | Readings: Worry & Truth and Tales From All Over

  • Wed, June 5, 2024 at 7:00pm

SHOWCASE #2 | Readings: Tomboy (Chłopczyca), GRINGAS & Skinhead

  • Thurs, June 6, 2024 at 7:00pm

By Day Chase (she/they)
Part of the Wildfire Interdisciplinary series

Worry is an TYA exploration about imaginary friends and anxiety. A single performer, a scientist who has built a machine that makes imaginary friends visible, interacts with both the audience and projected, animated characters that are her imaginary friends, before a manifestation of her worries starts making itself known.

by Jason Cabueños (he/him)

Truth and Tales From All Over is an original table top card game, similar to Dungeons and Dragons, where what unfolds in the narrative of the evolving game is acted out by improvisors while also integrating audience involvement in unique ways. The goal of the game is to acquire story beats that follow the arc of familiar cultural and/or mythic narratives, and we witness how these stories change in the telling.

by Anais West (they/he)

Tomboy (Chłopczyca) is a dance-theatre performance using contemporary movement and Polish folklore to investigate gender and memory. In the play, a non-binary university student learns that a boy from their Polish immigrant community committed a disturbing act of violence. This revelation forces them to re-examine their shared adolescence in an insular and tradition-bound culture. But with each remembering, the sequence of events becomes more ambiguous, the choreography of memory more complex, unravelling the narrative they’ve constructed of themself, their gender and the boy’s culpability. Were his actions his own, or was he cursed by a monstrous and mythic inheritance? By reclaiming traditions, including folk dance, Tomboy seeks to be both an unflinching autopsy of masculinity, as well as a vision of queer metamorphosis.

By Mercedes Isaza Clunie (she/her)

GRINGAS tells the story of 7 Latina-Canadian teenagers who are forced by their mothers to attend a Spanish-only summer camp. Within the confines of shared bunks, they confront their disappearing youth through dreams, dance, and cigarettes, and tackle the intricacies of the looming shadow of their ‘gringa-ness’.

by Shyanne Duquette

“Skinhead” follows a group of friends navigating the challenges of growing up and joining groups that prove to be much more insidious than initially expected.

Support IGNITE!

Supporting Sage Theatre’s IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists through sponsorship, donation, or volunteering is an invaluable investment in nurturing the next generation of artistic talent. Together, these forms of support empower emerging artists.


By contributing to this vibrant platform, sponsors not only foster creativity and innovation but also play a pivotal role in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the arts community.

Custom opportunities are available for monetary and in-kind sponsorships.

Contact us today>>


Making a donation provides crucial financial support, enabling the festival to thrive and provide opportunities for emerging artists to showcase their work.

As a charitable organization, Sage Theatre provides tax receipts for eligible donations. 

Donate today>>


Lend us your time and skills, enriching the festival experience for participants and audiences alike. 

We have a variety of positions available. Whether you would like to support the festival planning or have a role during the festival – we have a role for you!