Showcase & Pitch FAQs

Contact ONtour 2021 Juried Showcase & Pitch FAQ

For Contact ONtour 2021, all showcases and pitches will be virtual and will require an application. We highly encourage all artists interested in applying to read the following FAQs as well as the information on our Artist Submissions page.

Drop-In Information Sessions

We will  be hosting drop-in FAQ sessions throughout April. If you have never applied, are new to showcasing, or are new to Contact ONtour (formerly Ontario Contact), we strong recommend that you register for one of the sessions. You may drop-in anytime with in the hour to ask your questions.

FAQ Sessions: Thursdays from 4:30-5:30pm EST throughout April

Register here for an FAQ session!

Showcase Performance Information:

When will the 2021 Contact ONtour Juried Showcase take place?

The conference will be virtual this year, running from September 13th to 18th, 2021. Some activities will take place throughout September, but showcases and pitches will be focused on this week.

What are the expectations of the showcasing artists?

Artists will be asked to submit a 15-minute video showcase that includes the following:

  • Clip showing audience reaction. This is not expected to be a high production video and may be a pre-COVID recording.

  • Introduction of performers, if appropriate, and demonstration of the rapport between them.

  • Good quality video of the show that will be touring.

  • In the case of theatre and dance, we understand that it may be difficult to have video of the proposed work. Work demonstrating your style and production values will be accepted with a description of the proposed touring work and design drawings or photos if available.

Once showcasing artists are selected, we will do our best to work with each artist to provide guidance and non-financial support to ensure the best virtual showcase experience possible.

Showcasing artists will be expected to be available for an online conversation with interested presenters following their showcase. 

What if I am just interested in a pitch?

Please submit a showcase application but indicate in your application that you are only interested in a pitch.

What are the expectations of the pitching artists?

Pitching artists will be asked to livestream a 7-minute pitch. How they present themselves is up to the artist. Recognizing that there may be bandwidth challenges in some parts of the province, alternate arrangements can be made in consultation with the conference staff.

Application & Showcase Fees

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee is $30+HST and is non-refundable.

If selected for a pitch or showcase this year, your fee will be applied to your registration to attend the event. We highly recommend that you attend as many networking opportunities as you can, as success in this sector is often related to building relationships.

We recognize that this is an incredibly difficult financial time for artists, agents, managers, and arts workers and have lowered our application fee in response. If the fee continues to present a significant financial barrier, please email contactontour@ontariopresents.ca and we will do our best to accommodate.

Dates (Application Deadline & Notification)

What is the application deadline?

Applications must be received through IWanttoShowcase.ca by 11:00 pm EST on May 7th, 2021.

All supporting materials must be submitted electronically.

When will I be notified of the jury’s decision?

Notifications will be sent to the email address provided on the application form no later than mid-June 2021.

Selection Process & Feedback

How many artists will be selected for the 2021 Contact ONtour Juried Showcase?

The Showcase Jury may select a maximum of 15 artists to showcase, and 15 artists to pitch. Additional artists may be invited to be included in our online artist directory.

How are artists selected?

The selection process is comprised of three rounds. In Round One audio/video samples are reviewed by individual members of the jury to determine whether they meet the standard of artistic quality required for a successful showcase. The jury then meets and reviews the list of non-successful artists with the option of moving any to Round Two if deemed appropriate. In Round Two, the jury reviews the applications that passed Round One in detail. They score the submissions on artistic quality, proven readiness to showcase (i.e. have touring experience), and impact on the artist’s career and on the audience. Round Three is for final review, discussion, and selection. At this time, the jury considers the appropriate balance of disciplines represented, equity, inclusivity, and diversity, and length of time since an artist showcased. The jury will identify alternates should any of the successful applicants have to withdraw. 

Since impact on the artist’s career is one of the considerations, it is important to state within the application why the artist should be selected and how that will further their career. 

Will Ontario Contact provide jury comments to applicants?

Yes. Upon request, we will make every effort to help identify ways to improve an application.

Performance/Work Sample

What kind of performance sample do I need to submit?

Your performance sample(s) must represent current works that you will tour. Music applicants may upload audio files in addition to video files. All theatre and dance applicants must submit video of a live performance. We recommend that one of your samples demonstrates the production quality of your work and a second show audience reaction.

In the case of theatre and dance, we understand that it may be difficult to have video of the proposed work. Work demonstrating your style and production values will be accepted with a description of the proposed touring work and design drawings or photos if available.

Why can’t my video sample have on-screen titles?

Round One of the jury’s review process is blind - meaning ALL submissions are presented to the jury without introducing the name of the agent or manager.

Why can’t I submit my promotional video?

The jury will not consider promotional videos, TV news features, etc. as part of artistic assessment. Your live performance footage is the best way for you to demonstrate your artistic excellence and artistic merit, which are two of the three review criteria (the third is demonstrated ability to tour).

What role does my audio/video sample play in the selection process?

The performance sample is what is presented to the jury in Round One. The jury will listen to or watch up to three minutes of material in Round One. Those applications that move on to Round Two are then reviewed in further detail.

Does Contact ONtour have any tips to help me with my performance sample?

We suggest providing a selection of your best work (not just one piece or 3-minute clip) for the jury to review.

If a password is required to watch the support materials, make certain it will not expire prior to June 15 so that it can be referred to by the jury throughout the selection process.

The jury is not interested in video of audience members praising the quality of the performance. They are interested in seeing audience reactions during a performance. They want to see the most interesting and/or critical moments of your performance. Be certain to indicate at what point they should start watching your video and, if you feel they need some information to help them understand, include that information in your application. Remember, they are reviewing over 200 applications; they will not watch a full video.

If you have any further questions please join our Drop-in Sessions (details above) or email contactontour@ontariopresents.ca.