New Conversations: New Conversations program launched to support UK-Canada creative projects, Application Deadline November 18

Funded and delivered by the British Council, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK, New Conversations is designed to encourage and support the development of creative and collaborative partnerships between artists and arts organisations in the performing arts sector in the UK and Canada.

Initially a two-year pilot, the program aims to provide opportunities to initiate challenging and inquisitive conversations, exchange ideas and practices and develop ambitious creative research and development projects that can offer the first steps for collaborations and productions between Canada and the UK.

Gavin Stride, director of the Maltings, says "We are excited to develop a partnership with like-minded organisations to do something that would be impossible on our own. It feels particularly pleasing to be creating opportunities for artists and companies to start new conversations without knowing where they might go and without a myriad of conditions. I am certain good will come of it."

Mariya Afzal, Country Director, British Council in Canada, says "Together with our partners, we are thrilled to be launching New Conversations, to create more innovative spaces for partnerships and increase the number of exchanges between UK and Canada. We hope that this initiative will deepen and diversify international collaborations by promoting artistic exchange."

Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, H.E. Janice Charette, says "New Conversations offers a wonderful opportunity to forge unique partnerships between creative Canadian and UK artists. We are pleased to play a role in bringing members of our vibrant and innovative performing arts communities to the table to explore all that they can achieve when working together."

The fund will invest up to £120,000 over 2 years and is open to Canada and UK-based artists, collectives, independent companies and organisations working in the fields of theatre and dance, as well as collaborations across art forms. Applications for the first round are now open with a deadline of 18 November 2018. The second round of applications will open in August 2019.

Press contact:

Hannah Slimmon

International Projects Producer, Farnham Maltings
+44 1252 745429


1. Farnham Maltings is a cultural organisation based in Surrey, England and working on a local, national and international level. We support, collaborate with and invest in artists to make new theatre and reach new audiences. We believe that the arts help us to make sense of the world, bring people together and articulate new ideas. We support a network of 180 venues across the south east of England, organise a bi-annual showcase of new English performance for an international audience, produce a stable of independent theatre companies and are working to diversify the makers and audience for the arts in the UK. Farnham Maltings an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. Registered charity no 305034.

2. The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

3. The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom is the country's diplomatic mission to the UK. The High Commission works to enrich the Canada-UK relationship across cultural and creative industries through a range of activities including a quarterly Culture Canada newsletter, exhibitions hosted in our small gallery space within Canada House on Trafalgar Square, regular events that celebrate Canadian culture across the country and our work with partners such as the British Council and Farnham Maltings.

4. Eligibility criteria:

  • Projects must involve at least one British partner and one Canadian partner
  • Projects must be performing theatre or dance related. Multi-disciplinary projects with a strong and relevant performing arts foundation will be accepted.
  • Projects must be carried out according to principles of reciprocity and mutual commitment, both in regard to financing and concrete impacts
  • Projects must begin at the earliest on March 15 2019
  • Partners are expected to make a 5% financial contribution and a 10% in-kind contribution to the project.
  • All applications received after November 18, 2018 for the first round will not be considered.

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland).
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