Paprika is a youth-led professional performing arts organization. We run year round professional training and mentorship programs that culminate in a performing arts festival of new work by young artists.
—We generate opportunities for young artists to lead their own creative process with the support of their peers and professional mentors.
—We set the stage for young artists to have their voices heard in a setting that is supportive and also dependent on critical response.
—We ensure that young artists are well equipped to find employment in diverse cultural industries and to become our successors.
We value barrier free access to our programs. Our programs are free-of-charge and are inclusive to peoples of all origin, faith, mobility, economic status, sexual orientation, and any other equity-seeking group. We create a space where all voices are heard and valued equally.
We aim to create a space where a diverse group of young people can work with like-minded peers, take artistic and personal risks, and meet collaborators within a safe and supportive environment. Through our mentorship-based training programs we connect participants to the larger Canadian Theatre ecology.
We give youth the responsibility of being treated like professionals. Paprika gives their participants the autonomy to create new work that is their own, while giving them the tools, training and mentorship to push their artistic skills as far as they will go. We provide an opportunity for youth to be leaders, we ensure that young artists are well equipped to find employment in diverse cultural industries and to become our successors.
We pride ourselves on being an entirely youth-run organization, focused on serving emerging artists. We strongly believe that young people are willing and able to take on leadership roles as they continue to learn and grow in their artistic work, in their careers and in their communities.
- To create opportunities for young people to connect with their peers in an authentic way in the creation of the performing arts.
- To create meaningful connections with artistic mentors who are invested in the future generation of young professionals.
- To empower young people with the confidence, artistic freedom and leadership skills necessary to grow and succeed in the arts
- To generate a supportive yet rigorous community that inspires young people to create the highest caliber of artistic work.
- To bring a generation of young leaders into our cultural industry as practitioners, social entrepreneurs and advocates for social change through art.
We provide free-of-charge opportunities to learn more about theatre creation from the best in the business. In our 15 seasons to date, we have supported the artistic work of over 1,000 individuals and launched hundreds of professional careers.
Established in 2001 by 18 year-old Anthony Furey, the Paprika Festival has evolved in its vision and scope significantly, growing from a festival of 5 short plays to a full week long celebration of new work, featuring youth participants from six different year-round training programs.
What People Are Saying
"By inspiring young talent in a supportive and nurturing environment, the Paprika Festival has given my son the opportunity to showcase and develop his writing and directorial skills and receive incredible guidance from outstanding theatre professionals. "
— Rena Godfrey, parent of Paprika participant
"I can't imagine that much of my work would have seen the light of day without this festival. I can draw a direct line from my experience with Paprika and my work being heard and produced. "
— Rosamund Small, Dora award-winning playwright and Paprika alumni
"Paprika offers a nurturing and expansive entry point for young artists into the Toronto theatre scene and the Festival contributes significantly to our cultural fabric by growing the artists of tomorrow. "
— Mitchell Marcus, Artistic Producer, Acting Up Stage