Ignite! explodes into Calgary

By Katherine Zelt

Sage Theatre’s Ignite! Festival is all about showcasing the outstanding talents of an eclectic group of emerging professional artists from all over Canada. Situated in artistically booming Calgary, it offers an opportunity for both diversely talented artists and devoted art appreciators to network and explore what Canadian artists have to offer in the areas of dance, theatre, visual arts and music.

“Ignite! in many ways is an opportunity to learn through doing and for artists to apply their skills by creating a show,” says festival director Ellen Close. “The festival is a bridge, often for artists who may just be leaving college or a professional training program who are looking to transition into the professional community and so we provide an opportunity for them to learn through doing, but then also be showcased and have industry professionals see their work.”

Close states that the festival strengthens local artists and puts them on the map. The festival allows artists from across the country to collaborate with locals on their various projects. With over 100 artists participating in this year’s festival, there will indeed be many a quality show.

“We have a focus on providing opportunities for local artists,” she says. “Sometimes, to program a great script from a Vancouver writer, for instance, that has great roles for Calgary actors and has a Calgary director, strengthens our local community and also provides an important dialogue between the different theatre communities and to have that [dialogue] happening at the emerging professional level is very exciting.”

The Ignite! Theatre Festival is in the Pumphouse Theatre June 11 – 13.

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