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  • ArtStarts Showcase February 26-27, 2018 in Vancouver, BC

  • ArtStarts Showcase February 26-27, 2018 in Vancouver, BC

  • ArtStarts Showcase February 26-27, 2018 in Vancouver, BC

  • ArtStarts Showcase February 26-27, 2018 in Vancouver, BC

ArtStarts Showcase

The ArtStarts Showcase is Western Canada's most important performing arts showcase for school and arts programmers interested in booking performances for young audiences. Professional artists across disciplines present a sample of their current touring show followed by a Q&A. 

The 2018 ArtStarts Showcase will be presented at the Orpheum Annex in downtown Vancouver on Feb 26 - 27, 2018

We're excited to announce two new application streams for artists to present at Showcase.

  1. Application A: NEW ARTISTS OR SHOWS
  2. Application B: ON YOUR RADAR

Two application streams means we can offer:

  • More showcase performances
  • More opportunities to showcase new artists and new shows
  • Increased exposure for returning artists



performances booked in 200 communities across British Columbia.

Oct 26, 2017

Deadline to Apply

Feb 26-27, 2018

ArtStarts Showcase

Online Application Form

Apply Now!

Assessment Rubric


Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  • Why perform at Showcase?
    If you would like to join the Artist on Tour Directory, an annual resource (print and online) produced by ArtStarts that features listings of professional artists available to perform in urban, rural and remote regions across BC, you must apply and be accepted to the ArtStarts Showcase. The Artist on Tour Directory is accessed by school districts, across the province, which schedule performances through ArtStarts' Booking and Touring service. Last year, we booked approximately 2,000 performances in 200 communities across BC.
  • Who performs?
    From dancers and storytellers to musicians, theatre groups and more, the range of performing artists presented at the ArtStarts Showcase and Conference always proves to be diverse, engaging and of the highest calibre. Showcasing artists represent an outstanding of mix of artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.
  • Who attends?
    Showcase attendees include BC School District art professionals, school representatives and community arts programmers, all of whom book touring performers for young audiences, along with delegates from across the province.

Application Process

  • Who can apply to Showcase?
    • Professional Artists
    Definition of Professional Artist: A professional artist is defined as someone who has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions); is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition); is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if possible financially; has a history of public presentation or publication. (Definition from Canada Council for the Arts)

    • Residents of Canada
    • Have prepared a school performance, 45-60 minutes long, suitable for young audiences, or a touring workshop (1 day duration).
    • Be available to present a 9-minute or 5-minute excerpt of your school performance on one of the Showcase dates: February 26 and 27, 2018.
    • Be available to tour BC schools for at least 4 weeks (including at least 3 weeks outside the Lower Mainland) between September 2018 and June 2019.
    • Be able to perform for an average school audience of 350-500 students. (Exceptions: storytellers, work shopping artists and groups offering two shows to smaller audiences for the same fee as one for a larger audience).
    • Artists who showcased in 2017 are not eligible. Some exceptions may apply.
    • Artists must have completed the Criminal Record Check process, as outlined below.
    • Submit your application by midnight PST on Thursday, October 26, 2017.
  • What are the application and subscription fees?
    The following is a list of fees to expect when applying to the ArtStarts Showcase. All fees are non-refundable.
    • Application Fee: $75 CDN

    If selected to showcase, the following fees apply:
    • Annual Artist Services Fee: $300 CDN .
    • Criminal Record Check: $28 CDN per artist in your group.
    • Additional Performance Listings in Artists on Tour Directory (optional): $75 CDN

  • Application Checklist
    • I have read the assessment rubric
    • I have read and understood the guidelines
    • I am available to Showcase on Feb 26 + Feb 27, 2018
    • I am available to tour BC for three weeks
    • I have submitted my payment  

Online Application

  • What does the online application form include?
    The application form includes:
    • General Info – Artist and show information.
    • Showcase History – For current ArtStarts artists.
    • Description of your art practice.
    • Proposed Show: While you may have several shows in your repertoire, please indicate the specific one that you would like to showcase and tour. Describe the concept of the performance or workshop you wish to tour in schools.
    • Description how your performance is relevant for young audiences.
    • When did you first develop this show? Describe the process of developing this show.
  • How do I determine my fee structure?
    Proposed Fee Range: Fees listed on your application should reflect an estimated fee range that includes a low-end "home base" rate to a higher "rest of BC" rate (e.g. $600-$800). You will be asked to complete a chart of artist fees that reflect various regions of BC. Here is a sample of a completed fee chart:

    Fees include travel and accommodation costs. This preliminary fee range is an estimate only. If accepted to showcase, ArtStarts will work with you to finalize these rates. By January 2018, fees will be considered final and cannot be changed during 2018-19 school year.

Application Materials

  • What support materials do I need to submit?
    • Video: This is the most important piece of your application.All artists, including those who have already showcased, must submit up to two links to online videos. This link will be sent to selection committee members across BC and should reflect a performance recorded for a school or age-appropriate audience.
    • Video requirements:
      • Must be 5-10 minutes long.
      • Must be an online video (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo). DVDs will NOT be accepted.
      • Must showcase the performance you hope to present in schools.
      • Performances held in front of school audiences are preferred.
      • Must be a live recording.
      • Pre-recorded music over footage will not be accepted.
      • Exceptions apply to artists currently on ArtStarts’ Artists on Tour Directory, and professional theatre companies with new shows in early stages of production.
    • Know-Wonder-Learn Chart: A completed Know-Wonder-Learn (KWL) chart using the template provided must be submitted. This one page document is intended to increase student learning before, during and after a performance. The KWL chart should include applicable information, questions and possible activities to enhance student learning. Because of the educational nature of performing in schools, it is ideal to include links to the curriculum in order to draw educational connections. Guiding points for creating a KWL chart and the template are available online at
    • Artist CV: Please submit your professional CV of group and/or individuals. Include training, performance history in communities and/or schools as well as performance description, touring experience, etc.
    • References (mandatory for new artists only): Applicants must submit three letters of support from schools, community presenters or professional peers. References do not need to be submitted by current members of ArtStarts' Artists on Tour Directory.

Selection Process

  • What is the assessment process?

    All applications will be assessed by a jury of educators and artists. A regional committee also reviews the applications and provides feedback to the jury for consideration. 

    IMPORTANT: Download the assessment rubric that the jury will use to assess your application. Providing evidence to meet the criteria in the new and improved rubric will be your key to success.

    The rubric includes three key areas of assessment:

    Art Practice (33%)
    Technical ability and professional art practice.

    Concept + Relevance (33%)
    The translation of the art form to the audience experience.

    Execution + Engagement (33%)
    The artist’s capacity to build a relationship with the audience. The jury will primarily look to your video.

    In order to move forward in the selection process, applications must receive a minimum score of 66%.

  • How am I being assessed?

    The most important elements of your application are your answers to the application questions and your video. The jury will also review the provided support materials to complete the assessment process.

    Your video will be used to:

    • Understand the expression of your art form.
    • Assess whether your performance is rehearsed and refined.
    • Assess your stage presence and ability to sustain audience engagement.

    Your KWL Chart will be used to:

    • Assess whether you concept is strongly articulated by the art form.
    • Assess whether your concept is compelling and well developed.

    Your CV will be used to:

    • Assess technical artistry.
    • Assess alignment with definition of professional artist (Canada Council definition).

    Your References will be used to:

    Demonstrate support from schools, community presenters or professional peers

Application Fee

Key Dates

  • Mark your calendar!

    There will be a total of approx. 40 applications selected. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application by December 1, 2017.

    Dates to Remember:
    • Application Due: October 26, 2017
    • Selection Committee: November 2017
    • Notifications to Artists: December 1, 2017
    • Fees & Content December 22, 2017
    • Artist Mentorship Session: January 2018
    • Contact Room Registration Opens: January 2018
    • Criminal Record Check February 1, 2018
    • Showcase Information Session: Early 2018
    • Showcase Information Session: Early 2018
    • ArtStarts Showcase: February 26-27, 2018