Theatre SKAM seeks submissions from Canadian Performing Arts Companies and Artists for new 8 to 10 minute works to be performed outdoors in Victoria, BC: July 11 & 12 (with preview events July 9 & 10), 2020.


Theatre SKAM is seeking submissions of interest from Canadian artists for SKAMpede 2020. Now in its twelfth 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 Pathway, 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 disciplines as the event features comedy, drama, storytelling, spoken word, improv, music, opera, puppetry and dance. Up to 12 short works will be programmed.

Use of Setting

Performers are encouraged to be creative and consider the physical landscape of downtown Victoria, the green spaces along trails and the harbourfront when crafting submissions. Prior festivals have included venues such as harbour or waterfront areas, areas in close proximity to natural sites or features like trees or bushes, sidewalk spaces out front of Heritage Buildings and local businesses…we support innovative thinking with Site Specific performance creation.

 Projects that interact or connect with one of the many environments along the first four kilometres of the trail are ideal. New this year: we will be expanding the festival along the City’s downtown waterfront with increased opportunity for Urban-based tour locations. We receive submissions for many environmentally themed shows.


Fees Granted, Accomodations & Additional Support

Successful applicants are paid a professional fee. 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, and 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 apply some common sense here.)

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

PLEASE NOTE: we have moved forward the application deadline to allow successful applicants more time to apply for additional funding. It is our hope that by moving our timeline forward granting agencies will help provide artists, especially out-of-town artists, with support in travel and accommodation expenses. It is our hope to keep SKAMpede free to audiences, and mitigating these costs with grant support is key to this endeavour.


The Jury Process

The jury reviewing applications for 2020 will include established arts professionals from outside Theatre SKAM. Theatre SKAM will program up to six national companies to appear at SKAMpede.

Important: The 4-person jury selection process is blind for the first round, and you must complete your application according to the guidelines. The merit of your one-page submission is the basis for jury assessment. A show idea with strong artistic merit, a good sense of how your piece fits in one of the many varied locations on the trail, and a solid work plan are favoured. We also see many submissions for 1 and 2 person shows, and while many do meet our criteria we would like to see more shows with 3 or more people performing. (More on fees below.)

 Consider as well that SKAMpede has expended into downtown, and not all audience members will have bikes. It may be possible to conduct walking tour shows, that is shows where you move the audience of 12 from A to B (keep this simple). 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 likely help your submission in the Jury process.


All companies must be available for all four dates of the event

  • Preview July 9
  • Friday Night Feast July 10
  • Performances July 11 and 12.

Out of town companies should be prepared to spend five nights in Victoria (Arrive July 8, Depart July 13).

A preview for fellow artists and an invited audience is Thursday July 9, 2020 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. A Friday Night Feast event runs July 10 where all shows play 2 to 4 times and guests enjoy an outdoor dinner. On July 11 and 12, each company can expect to perform from 7 to 20 times throughout each day from Noon to 7pm.


Future Prospects

In the last several years, 14 shows created for this festival have found further work or paid development elsewhere, and one author has been commissioned to create a full-length version of her 10-minute piece. Each year we select two companies to appear at Canada Day celebrations July 1 and these companies are paid an additional fee. This works well for local companies looking to make extra money and preview their show prior to the festival.


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