Atelier 2022 for Young Festival Managers

June 1 to 7, 2022 

Presented by

The FTA – Festival TransAmériques is extremely proud to have hosted the 19th edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in the spring of 2022. This seminar, organised in partnership with The Festival Academy (an initiative of European Festivals Association – EFA) took place from June 1 to 7, 2022 in Montréal and the call for applications closed on November 15, 2021.



At the heart of the Atelier: an exchange of ideas with a global community of festival makers

The Atelier offers the opportunity to up to 35 young* festival managers from all over the world to spend 7 days together with a group of young and experienced festival leaders, cultural activists, cross-sector experts and artists in Montréal (Canada) – during the Festival TransAmériques – to have a global conversation about today’s challenges and the role that festivals, art and culture can play in these. The Atelier is about gaining new perspectives, exploring the essence of the why and how of festivals in a global context, share and exchange experiences and reflect on the topics that concern them.

Participants will also have the chance to attend performances at the Festival TransAmériques, meet with artists and production teams and discover behind-the-scenes of this inspiring festival of contemporary dance and theatre, the biggest performing arts festival in North America… and join a unique global network of festival-makers that today counts 800+ Alumni from 95+ countries and 200+ festival and cross-sector experts.

who can apply?

+ Early career artistic directors or programmers/curators working for art organisations or festivals, as well as those working in a programme related department in a festival.

+ Participants represent a broad diversity of cultural and professional backgrounds – from students to young managers working for large established organisations, to emerging curators running their own innovative international festivals.

*‘Young’ in the Atelier title refers first of all to being young in the festival business.


Participants & Alumni Network

The Atelier upskills and informs participants about the state of play of the world today and offers a time out to reflect critically on the role of festivals in today’s world, infused by people of different backgrounds and perspectives who can challenge and provoke our thinking or the way we do things.

Participants will have the chance to compare their experiences with colleagues from various cultural and professional contexts and backgrounds encouraging a global discussion about the social and political responsibility of festivals and festivals makers, as well as analyzing these views within the local context of the Atelier and their own festivals. They also have the opportunity to connect to a broad new personal and professional network and be inspired for new (collaboration) projects. 

The Festival Academy

Based in Brussels, The Festival Academy believes festivals are bridging platforms with a direct link to people and civil society structures. Ateliers for Young Festival Managers allow passionate young directors of festivals and artistic institutions to develop critical thinking within an international experience. Its programs are based on the interaction between participants and a group of  mentors and guest speakers, who are renowned festival managers and directors, cross-sector experts, cultural activists and artists. Mentors from previous editions include Marie-Hélène Falcon (FTA cofounder), Nele Hertling (Tanz im August, Berlin), Carole Karemera (Kigali, Rwanda), Bernard Faivre D’Arcier (Festival d’Avignon), Mark Russel (Under the Radar, NY), Kee Hong Low (West Kwoloon, Hong Kong), Roberto Naccari (Santarcangelo Festival, Italy).

The programme focuses on topics and issues raised by the selected participants which are further developed during the Atelier: with panel discussions guided by renowned festival leaders and cross-sector experts from across the globe, in small working groups, thematic lunches, cross-discipline round tables and plenary sessions.


Topics to be explored could be amongst others:

+ Different models of curating, focusing on building audiences/communities

+ Innovation and new technologies

+ The social, environmental and artistic impact of festivals: how festivals are/can be agents for social change and social cohesion

+ Fundraising (beyond subventions)

+ How and if festivals can contribute to strengthening global identities and values and tackle rising nationalism

+ Fair international collaboration (and trade) including the UNESCO 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

+ Festivals and migrant/refugees communities

+ Sustainable festival-making on all levels

+ Freedom of expression and the relevance of artistic boycott


+ Full course fee: €2100 (reduced course fee for EFA member festivals: €1600)

+ Course fee includes accommodation for 7 nights, registration, working documents, access to all sessions, meals and drinks, receptions, local transport, cultural and artistic programme, and follow up activities.

+ The Festival Academy will select up to 35 participants

+ There is no age limit, and the average age of Atelier participants is of 35 years.

+ Excellent knowledge of spoken English is required (the working language of the Atelier).

+ We encourage people from all parts of the world to apply, even with the current circumstances related to travel; The Festival Academy will work towards making the Atelier accessible for all selected applicants and will assist as much as possible with visa issues and other permissions in preparation for the Atelier.

+ Funding opportunities for this training programme are numerous at local/national level, and we have established long-term partnerships with some organisations all over the world to support prospective participants. Find out more about the application procedures and funding opportunities here.

+ Don’t let the cost of the Atelier hold back your application. If you are from Quebec or Canada, the FTA can assist you in your search for funding. In the event that you require financial assistance, please specify this in your application letter.

Le Festival TransAmériques

Festival TransAmériques, or the FTA, is a festival of contemporary dance and theatre, the biggest performing arts festival in North America. The FTA is a harbinger of springtime in Montreal; it is a driving force for the promotion of contemporary theatre and dance presenting an average of 25 shows in performance venues and in outdoor public spaces over a two-week period. For Montrealers, the FTA is a celebration, a unique occasion in the year to see a profusion of dance and theatre from all over the world, works that engage a dialogue with strong and singular artistic voices. The shows also stimulate lively discussions outside the theatres with the FTA Playgrounds activities – a vibrant assembly of meetings, debates, films and workshops that extend the programming.

“Imagining the festivals of the future is no mean feat: creating the best conditions for artists to present their work, making events accessible to a broad range of audiences, widening the frames for art shaped by our colonial past and present, taking care of each other and respecting the limits of our planet’s resources.

In Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal, a vibrant, multilingual city grappling with the ongoing effects of its oppressive history, Festival TransAmériques’ programme of dance and theatre will provide an inspiring setting for an Atelier that focuses on the urgent questions of our times.”

Martine Dennewald, Codirectrice artistique du FTA

Montréal / Tio’tia:ke / Mooniyang

Montreal / Tio’tia:ke / Mooniyang, an unceeded indigenous territory called Tio’tia:ke by the Kanien’kehà:ka nation or Mooniyang by the Anishinaabe nation, is known as a traditional gathering place for many Indigenous Nations. Today, more than 32 000 Indigenous Peoples still live, work and create in Montréal.

Montréal is a vibrant multicultural, multilingual, charismatic and welcoming city. A striking union of European charm and North American attitude, Montréal seduces visitors with a harmonious pairing of the historic and the new. Situated on an island gem on the magnificent St. Lawrence River, the city attests today of its complex history of colonial settlers and immigration.

Today, 120 distinct ethnic communities are represented in its population of more than 3.6 million, making Montréal a veritable mosaic of cultures and traditions. The world’s second largest francophone city after Paris, it merits the moniker ‘international’ city, a cosmopolitan centre with proud roots in the past that enthusiastically embraces the future.

Each season, it is host to an array of events, exhibitions and gatherings. Montrealers’ spontaneity and ability to welcome visitors have propelled the city to its current position of international host city, where some of the world’s most exciting events are held annually.


Please do not hesitate to contact The Festival Academy for further information on the application & selection procedure.
+32 2 588 20 46


This project is supported by