A banner image with orange background. The words SKAMpede are in blue with a logo of a blue goose. The text says 2021 applications now open.

Seeking submissions from Vancouver Island Performing Arts Companies and Artists!
We’re looking for new 8 to 10 minute works to be performed outdoors in Victoria, BC: July 10 & 11 (with preview events July 8 & 9), 2021.

DEADLINE: MARCH 16, 2021                                 

Theatre SKAM is seeking submissions of interest from Vancouver Island-based artists for SKAMpede 2021. In its thirteenth year, this live performance event features original short performances by artists stationed outside along paved commuter trails, including the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, the Songhees Walkway, and the David Foster Walkway in the downtown core.

Performances are repeated over the course of the day as audiences ride their bikes, walk, skateboard, rollerblade, or scooter their way in groups of 12 from show to show. SKAM encourages applications from all performance disciplines: comedy, drama, storytelling, spoken word, improv, music, opera, puppetry and dance and more! Up to 12 short works will be programmed for this family-friendly festival.

Use of Setting                                               

We encourage you to be creative with site-specific performance creation. Consider the physical landscape of downtown Victoria, the green spaces along trails, and the harbour front when crafting submissions. Show sites will include venues such as harbour or waterfront areas, areas around natural sites, and sidewalk spaces out front of Heritage Buildings and local businesses. Traditionally, we receive submissions for many environmentally-themed shows. As we expand along the City’s downtown waterfront, we have increased opportunities for urban-based show locations. 

The Jury Process                                           

The jury reviewing applications for 2021 will include established arts professionals from outside Theatre SKAM. 

Important to consider:

  • The 4-person jury selection process is blind (identifying information will be obscured) for the first round. You must complete your application according to the guidelines.
  • The content of your one-page submission is the basis for jury assessment.
  • A show idea with strong artistic merit, a good sense of the type of site-specific location your piece fits (i.e. near a tree, under a bridge, beside a building), and a solid work plan is favoured.
  • We see many submissions for 1 and 2 person shows! While many meet our criteria, we would like to see more shows with 3 or more people performing (more on fees below).
  • We want high quality, new work. If you have recorded examples of your previous work or can demonstrate a track record of excellence in the performing arts through other means, this will help your submission.

Fees Granted, Accommodations & Additional Support

 Successful applicants are paid a professional fee to be part of the festival.  Successful applicants from outside Victoria may also be provided accommodation and travel, contingent upon funding. If an applicant already has accommodation, they should inform us in their application. We are also open to assisting artists in applying for grant funding to provide for travel and accommodation. We encourage any out-of-town artists to apply for funding through applicable bodies.

We set fees according to the number of participants in each show – we pay each company $600 per company member, so a company of 3 artists (regardless of how many roles each artist has in production) would be paid a total of $1800.  (We cannot hire a full production team to make a ten-minute show, so please consider the scope of the festival when deciding on production team numbers. It is usual in the festival for team members to wear many hats.)

Theatre SKAM is pleased to offer creation support leading up to the festival. Established artists provide dramaturgical support and critical feedback upon request: this perk is available to both emerging and established artists.


Companies must be available for all of the following dates:

  • Dress Rehearsal Thursday, July 8
  • Preview Event Friday, July 9
  • Performances Saturday/Sunday, July 10 and 11

Out of town companies should be prepared to spend up to four nights in Victoria (arrive the morning of July 8, depart July 12).

The daily schedule for 2021 has not yet been determined, but in a typical year would be the following: a dress rehearsal for fellow artists and an invited audience Thursday evening;  a Friday Night Feast event on Friday, where all shows play 2 to 4 times, and guests enjoy an outdoor dinner; main festival on Saturday and Sunday where each company can expect to perform from 7 to 20 times throughout each day, from Noon to 7 pm.

Future Prospects                                          

In the last several years, 14 shows created for this festival have found further work or paid development elsewhere. One author was even commissioned to create a full-length version of her 10-minute piece.

Each year, we also select two companies to appear at Canada Day celebrations on July 1, and pay them an additional fee. This works well for local companies looking to make extra money and preview their show before the festival.

Covid-19 Context                                            

We expect that SKAMpede 2021 will look very similar to the 2020 physically distanced version. The extremely successful event was held at a smaller scale than previous years and featured local Victoria performers. Audience members were required to pre-book their tours, wear a mask, and maintain strict physical distancing.

We worked closely with the City of Victoria to ensure the festival was as safe as possible,  increased staffing, and reduced the opportunity for congregation during the event. With this in mind, we are planning an expanded Vancouver Island artist-focused edition of the festival for 2021. Still, we remain mindful of the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and the Public Health Orders that may be in place come July.


New to the festival? Contact SKAM directly to discuss your project. Artistic Producer Matthew Payne can be reached at 1(250)386-7526 or matthew@skam.ca.