1. Initiatives
  2. Canada in Edinburgh

Bringing Canadian Art to Edinburgh

In 2019, the Canada Council for the Arts is once again bringing Canadian arts to Edinburgh with five initiatives: CanadaHub, the Indigenous Contemporary Scene, the Edinburgh Art Festival, the Momentum Programme, and a mentorship initiative.

The Canada Council for the Arts is proud to contribute to Canada’s presence at Edinburgh in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada in the UK, Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and the British Council Canada.

The Council collaborates with its partners for the selection of artists, companies, and delegates.



Canada is at the heart of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a venue-specific platform: CanadaHub.

The Hub takes over the King’s Hall venue in Edinburgh, and presents six performances and one installation. The Hub is also a rallying point for the Festival.

CanadaHub is led by Executive Artistic Producer Michael Rubenfeld and is produced by SelfConscious Productions.

Festivals Edinburgh:
The Festival of Festivals

Festivals Edinburgh is comprised of five independent festivals that run throughout the month of August. It is one of the world’s largest marketplaces in the arts, and offers a perfect platform to raise artists’ cultural profile and showcase established companies and emerging talent. Each year, approximately 50 artists and companies from Canada appear across all festivals.

Our presence at a glance

Showcase of Canadian works at CanadaHub

The 2019 showcase presented at CanadaHub combines technology, audience interaction, Indigenous artists, thought-provoking storytelling, and a call to action on climate change from some of Canada’s most celebrated artists.

Indigenous Contemporary Scene

The Indigenous Contemporary Scene is a major platform for the presentation of live arts by Indigenous artists. It is an opportunity to bring together artists from different nations, to incite new collaborations, and to contribute to the greater impact of Indigenous voices internationally.

The Edinburgh Art Festival 

A platform for the visual arts, the Edinburgh Art Festival  features leading international and UK artists alongside the best emerging talent, major survey exhibitions of historic figures, and a special programme of newly commissioned artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city.

Momentum Programme

The Momentum International Delegate Programme brings together curators, creative entrepreneurs, funders, media professionals, officials, producers, and programmers from all over the world to be immersed in this global cultural showcase.

Mentorship Initiative

The first-ever Canadian mentorship initiative at the Edinburgh Festivals will give artists programmed at CanadaHub and at the Indigenous Contemporary Scene support and guidance in the highly competitive market that is Edinburgh.

Showcase of Canadian Works at CanadaHub

In August, the following artists and companies will take over the stage of King’s Hall at CanadaHub:

ARTICLE 11, Deer Woman
Presented by Indigenous Contemporary Scene at CanadaHub

ARTICLE 11’s Deer Woman is a comedic-dramatic thriller about one of the 1,600 officially recognized missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Lila, the missing girl’s sister, is a skilled hunter and a veteran of war; watch as she creates the perfect opportunity to avenge her sister’s murder.

Spontaneous Theatre, Blind Date

The public is invited to fall in love with a stranger in this thrilling, voyeuristic, blind date experiment. A sexy French clown goes on a blind date with a willing gentleman from the audience. Expect improvisation, naughty clowning, strong language, spiritual nudity, and hilarity.

Alanna Mitchell, Sea Sick

In this powerful story, Alanna Mitchell uses science and delicate wit to tell us about her journey to the bottom of the ocean, the demons she discovered there, and her hope for the future. This critically acclaimed production talks about climate change, and the state of the global ocean.

Anita Rochon/Theatre Replacement, Pathetic Fallacy

Pathetic Fallacy examines our changing relationship to weather. It circles around climate change and lands on one person. Reflection outweighs didacticism, with wit and curiosity. Urgently drawing together landscape painting, small talk, meteorological science, and pathetic fallacy, this piece questions the value of emotion in the face of a coming storm.

Tomson Highway, Songs in the Key of Cree
Presented by Indigenous Contemporary Scene at CanadaHub

Born in a snowbank on the Manitoba/Nunavut border to a family of nomadic caribou hunters, Cree playwright, pianist, and singer Tomson Highway has been called one of the most important Canadians in history. The Key of Cree is a compilation of his work and a cabaret with Tomson at the piano accompanied by extraordinary Peruvian-Canadian singer Patricia Cano and jazz saxophonist Marcus Ali.

Kanata Cabaret Hour
Presented by Indigenous Contemporary Scene at CanadaHub

The Kanata Cabaret Hour offers up a radical mixture of dance, music, and live art from both Indigenous and Scottish perspectives. Expect surprise guests and performances every night. This isn’t your colonizer’s cabaret—it’s self-determined Indigenous bad-assery!

The Canada Council for the Arts provides support to SelfConscious Productions as well as to the artists and companies programmed at CanadaHub. The CanadaHub is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Global Affairs Canada.

Indigenous Contemporary Scene

The Indigenous Contemporary Scene programme provides a robust international context for the presentation of Indigenous art practices from Canada, and explores the intersection of Indigenous voices within the context of the Edinburgh Festivals. The Indigenous Contemporary Scene is led by Artistic Producer Émilie Monnet and produced by Onishka Productions and O’Kaadenigan Wiingashk Collective. Here are the artists presented at Edinburgh Festivals:

Lara Kramer and Émilie Monnet, This Time Will Be Different

Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This Time Will Be Different is a performative ritual. This performance-based installation denounces the Canadian government’s discourse on Indigenous people, and serves as a rebuttal of the industry built around reconciliation.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools

The Studio, Edinburgh International Festival

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools is the meeting place of two powerful storytellers, and the North and South of a country. Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry give voice and body to the histories, culture, and climate we’ve inherited, and ask how we reckon with these sharp tools.

Lara Kramer, Native Girl Syndrome
Supported by DanceMakers

Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Native Girl Syndrome paints a ruthless portrait of homeless Indigenous women and, through the raw, street-style performances of Karina Iraola and Angie Cheng, Lara Kramer creates a troubling universe of truth and reality.

Lara Kramer, Miijin Ki/Manger la terre/Eating Land
Work-in-development supported by DanceMakers

The Studio, Edinburgh International Festival

Miijin Ki (an Anishnabemowin word meaning eating land) creates non-violent tensions of living and being on the land. The work acts as a counter narrative to the pan-victim Indian, and as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of all things in the modern and natural world. Presented as a scratch night, this public residency will give the creative team a chance to test things in front of a small audience night after night.

Taqralik Partridge, Cris Derksen and Inge Thomson, Sometimes I Speak English

International Book Festival

A contemplation on home, language and loss. Inuk poet and throat singer Taqralik Partridge performs alongside celebrated Cree cellist Cris Derksen and Scottish musician Inge Thomson, from Fair Isle, with new works inspired by the landscape there.

Tara Beagan, Cris Derksen, Taqralik Partridge and Roseanne Watt, Calling Home

International Book Festival

Tara Beagan, a Ntlakapamux/Irish playwright and creator Tara Beagan responds on the Beothuk human remains at the National Museum of Scotland. Cree cellist Cris Derksen performs alongside Inuk spoken word artist Taqralik Partridge. Shetlandic poet Roseanne Watt read from their latest works. Join them for this unmissable performance.

ICS is led by producer and curator Émilie Monnet, and is produced by Onishka Productions. It is featured for the first time this year at the Edinburgh Festivals with the Council’s support.

The Edinburgh Art Festival 

Corin Sworn, Habits of Assembly

The Canadian artist Corin Sworn creates a choreographed, onsite dance battle within a series of sculptural components in collaboration with three performers, dancers, and Tai Chi practitioners. Developed for the Commissions Programme at the 2019 Edinburgh Art Festival, Habits of Assembly is presented at the Sculpture Court of Edinburgh College of Art.

This work is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Momentum Programme

Momentum is the Edinburgh Festival’s International Delegate Programme. The programme is aimed at leading cultural figures, including government officials, heads of funding agencies, independent producers, festival directors, media, cross-art form programmers, curators, and cultural entrepreneurs. It provides relationships to, and shares knowledge with, over 100 delegates from more than 20 different countries.

2019 Canadian Delegates

Justin Many Fingers, Artistic Director, Making Treaty 7

Judy Harquail, International Market Development Consultant, Ontario Presents/CAPACOA

Randy Miller, National Manager of the Canada Arts Presentation Program, Department of Canadian Heritage

Anne-Marie Jean, CEO, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Francine Gagné, Artist and Executive Director, Circuit Est

Naomi Campbell, Artistic Director, Luminato

Franco Boni, Artistic and Executive Director, PuSh

Jael Richardson, Artistic Director, FOLD - Festival of Literary Diversity

Caroline Andrieux, Director, Founderie Darling

The Momentum Programme is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts in partnership with the British Council Canada.

Mentorship Initiative

Independent international arts and culture producers  Assis Carreiro and Judy Harquail offer their professional services to Canadian artists who are part of the CanadaHub and the Indigenous Contemporary Scene to support and guide them in the highly competitive market that is Edinburgh, particularly to those who do not have producer/touring representation with them in Edinburgh. This initiative aims to:

  • mentor Canadian artists and arts organisations in their understanding of the Edinburgh international marketplace, and facilitate discussions, networking, and future touring opportunities;
  • amplify the profile of Canadian artists and arts organisations in Edinburgh with the wider UK and international performing arts market of presenters, producers, arts organisations, and other key stakeholders;
  • support Canada’s wider international profile and the strategic objectives of Canada Council, Global Affairs Canada, Canadian Heritage, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK; and
  • support high quality, tour-ready Canadian work to ensure it gains support from international partners and bookers.

The mentorship initiative is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.