Become one of our local heroes by donating $5 monthly.

We want to put on a great series of free performances, concerts and community events at containR in 2016. We also want to build a cob oven on a flat bed so that it can travel to other communities, as well as build more benches for sitting at containR.

Last year we presented Music & Market, a bi-weekly Thursday event hosting great live music on the containR Stage. Springboard Performance also showcased the site-specific Body of Water series, a choreographed set of works at the Bow River about our waterways.  We also presented Front Lawn Dances in Sunnyside and Forest Lawn, a citizen led program where we pair people from the community with choreographers to create performances on their very own Front and back yards. They come together to tell and perform/dance/sing/act out stories about their neighbourhoods. People in the audience travel from one home to another like a Jane’s walk or progressive dinner to see the performances. One letter we received last year said, There is that magical moment when strangers in an audience become a community and it happened here
This kind of programming is great for communal spirit. We want to do more of the same this year.

In summer 2015 we built 12 benches with volunteers and they are wheely popular. All ages play and sit on them. We would like to build 12 more benches and repair the ones that need it.  The cob oven is something many people want to realize at containR as a project. We want to do it and also want to be able to share it with other parts of the city thus the flat bed idea.

That’s why we are asking you to put skin in the game. Dig into your pocket and donate $5 monthly. Small donations are important. They add up when they come from many people. And there are over 2000 of you dear newsletter subscribers. On our donation page you can specify how you want your donation to be used.

Our goal is to reach $6,000 by June 30th.

Let containR team spirit move you and DONATE.


Curatorial Adventures - Montreal & Beyond

Curatorial Adventures - Montreal & Beyond


By Nicole Mion, the Artistic Director & Curator of Springboard Performance

People often ask me how I find performances, curate, and connect communities to link and inspire cross country and pan global performance collaborations.  It's an act of alchemy involving equal doses big picture dreaming and methodical (read: obsessive) uber-coordination love practice akin to getting numerous cats to line up in single file. It's not a simple recipe. It involves equal parts love of art and love of detail, and a whole lotta persistence and luck. Sometimes there is even travel involved. This past November-December I was able to travel to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Montreal, with the help of the Israeli Consulate, The Canada Council for the Arts, and Parcours Danse, to attend dance conferences and showcases. 

  On the bus at Parcours Danse / Jeruselum Street Performance / Sherover Theatre / International Curators / Performance at Jeruselum Dance Week

On the bus at Parcours Danse / Jeruselum Street Performance / Sherover Theatre / International Curators / Performance at Jeruselum Dance Week

Israel is a hot bed for contemporary dance. Some of you saw the Hofesh Shechter Company and the Roy Assaf Company - both great Israeli artists. Springboard hopes to feature more artists in future years from the middle east, and believe in this time of world tensions, that understanding cultures through their art is essential. We also hope to invest in creation exchanges so that we can inspire artists from other countries to create with us in Calgary, and vice versa inspire exchanges so that Calgary artists can share their work with the world. Residency exchanges are one small step in this wonderful direction. Wouldn't a creative exchange with Jerusalem, Montreal and Calgary dance artists be awesome! I think so.

In Canada the gravitational pull for dance in this country puts Montreal at the epi-centre of a creative maelstrom of physical performance, questioning, and possibility. No one can deny the power of this creative community. The Fluid Festival has along history presenting Montreal artists, and will continue to do so. I saw some terrific performances, and I can't wait to share them with Calgary audiences.

Here's to more collaborations that get Calgary artists around the world, as well as the chance to feature eloquent and amazing International and national artists here in Calgary. Thanks to the funders that made it possible for me to attend.

Call for Proposals: FLUID FESTIVAL 2016

Call for Proposals: FLUID FESTIVAL 2016

Call for: FLUID FESTIVAL 2016




Springboard Performance invites provincial artists to submit proposals for the 2016 Fluid Festival, October 12 - 23, 2016. 

Programming options include: 

  • Main Stage, mixed bill programming 20-30 minute works.
  • Cabarets, 5-7 minute performance works, designed for a small stage and the specific bar context.
  • Proposals for site-specific, off-site or self-produced works.  Fluid Festival will provide program marketing support.
  • Proposals for collaborative creations – multidisciplinary or community collaborations.

Submissions should include:

  • Biography and/or CV.
  • Detailed Project Description – Project intent and why it is important at this point in your artistic career.
  • Links to video footage of proposed or relevant past work. 

Deadline: January 15th, 2016

Send applications to: 

*Please make Subject Line: Fluid Festival 2016 Proposal / Name or Project Title)

Notification of accepted proposals:  Main Stage shows will be contacted by February 1st. Shorter works in late February. Out of town artists will be offered a travel stipend.


Call for Proposals: containR 2016 Programming

Call for Proposals: containR 2016 Programming

Call for proposals: CONTAINR 2016 SEASON PROGRAMMING


containR is looking for you and your terrific ideas!

If you have a plan, scheme, design, proposition, action, brainstorm, vision, notion, concept, thought, theory, opinion, belief, dream or idea that you would like to stage at containR in 2016, we'd like to hear from you.

containR Art Park is a beehive of activity for artists and people from all parts of Calgary who want to share their creative and community esprit. containR is a pop-up installation of shipping containers and courtyard in the heart of of Sunnyside by the C-train station. It serves as an incubator, pollinator, and breeding ground for art, culture, multi-culturalism, placemaking, green design, gardening, community activities and programming. 

The theme at containR is “a 100-mile diet of creative ideas” and our purpose is forging neighbourly engagement through arts placemaking. We use community input when we curate, connect and present artists and creators; introduce design and green initiatives; engage audiences with participatory placemaking. As custodians of containR Springboard Performance works closely with partners, neighbours, and users so that people are informed and involved in the evolution of the space and its potential. 

containR is a place for professional and emerging artists, as well as makers, doers, community builders, designers, innovative thinkers, green design, performers, social permaculture enthusiasts, neighbors, curators, designers, placemakers, urban growers, community builders, the culturally curious and appreciators who want to join in our creative play. We ‘mash up’ events and activities. containR is a place for people to be experimental and share what they are doing. We support a DIY format featuring entertainment, innovation and outstanding community engagement. 


  • Installations
  • Exhibits 
  • Performances 
  • Events
  • Festivals
  • Gatherings
  • Workshops
  • Creative Residencies (1-2 weeks) 
  • Education
  • Community Engagement
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Green Initiatives 
  • Entrepreneurial/creative incubation

If you have an idea and it isn’t on the list and it fits with our 100-mile diet of creative ideas please do not hesitate to send it to us!

For more detailed information on how to apply, be sure download the containR Proposal Guidelines.

Posts from the field # 1 - 6    by Aimée Dawn Robinson

Posts from the field # 1 - 6 by Aimée Dawn Robinson

Yukon dance artist Aimée Dawn Robinson provides a reflective inside scoop of her, Wojciech Mochniej and Anne Troake's journey on The BODY OF WATER PROJECT - A travelling site-specific creative exchange.

BOW: post from the field # 1: September 17, 2015

| from Calgary looking back to the process in Whitehorse

During a break in the rain, we drove to Long Lake in Whitehorse. We took with us the clothes and shoes and the 6-foot standard folding table around which we had constellated for a few days in the Old Fire Hall. We imagined filming a sequence on the shore of the Lake -- enacting a scene of bureaucrats around a table who are in conflict with, and ineffective to protect or relate to, the wild space surrounding them -- the illusion of human control maintained by sedentary paperwork, to the detriment of water and all Nature.

Instead, shortly after carrying the table down the hill to the shore, Anne and I waded it into the water, pushed the table legs into the silt, yelling and laughing from the impact of the cold water. With the immersed table, we created the brief illusion of standing (dancing, sitting, crawling) almost on the surface of the water. For the Body of Water performance in Whitehorse on Friday September 4th 2015, we immersed three tables this way, end to end with enough space to wade between them. The cold water gushed off our heavy black clothing when we stood up. The shoes may still be wet. 

 Photo by Wojciech Mochniej

Photo by Wojciech Mochniej


BOW: post from the field #2: September 21, 2015

| from Calgary looking ahead to the Calgary performances

The Bow River runs by Wojciech and Melissa Monteros’ home, where we three Body of Water artists are living and working together during the Calgary portion of the project. The rhythm of our workdays are determined by the weather, the perpetually shifting river, and the schedule of the dedicated and inspiring young dancers of W&M Physical Theatre’s The Surge Company. Only a few days into their season, these dancers bravely leapt into our collaboration and into site-specific dance practices.

The other day, I waded into the river to photograph the Surge company dancing: their heads in the water, bare feet resting on the pebbles and stones, a line of still bodies drawn on the shore; an image complicated by the troubles of our world and all its’ struggles and inequities. I noted the intense power of the dancing body (simply, eloquently, wordlessly) offering layers of meaning to the incidental audience gathering on the bridge above us. By placing themselves in a vulnerable position, the dancers became incredibly strong. I am grateful to the Surge guest artists’ willingness to work with us. It is a gift to us older artists to collaborate with young artists and witness their bright light illuminating paths we may have danced before.

 Photo by Wojciech Mochniej

Photo by Wojciech Mochniej


BOW: post from the field #3: September 22, 2015

| from Calgary, thinking about rules

It’s easy to break the rules, especially when they are invisible. Conflict has surfaced in Calgary because we broke unseen rules regarding where we are permitted to create art. During the first stage of the process in Calgary, we rehearsed and taught freely on the pebbled shore of the Bow River near Edworthy Park. We felt part of the community; people were curious about, and welcoming to, our site-specific research. During this second stage, we are adapting the work to a site on and near the Peace Bridge. Though permits and insurance have been issued for the second site, of the two places, it’s much more dangerous. Last night Anne, Wojciech, Melissa and I sat on the rocky shore there, watching the river claim the bit of safe beach where we hoped to dance.

The intersection of bureaucracy and dance reminds me of a story dancer/farmer Min Tanaka told me about the time he was arrested in France for, “moving too slowly in a public place”. It’s permissible to walk, ride a bike, run, or jog across the Peace Bridge, but if one wishes to dance there (and invite people to witness this) we’ve been told one must apply for a permit 30 days in advance. Meanwhile, most of contemporary human culture has forgotten the agreements with the Bow River, with water and the rest of the Nature. But the river has not forgotten. She continues to welcome people and tries to provide for us and all other life forms, even when people have so horribly broken the agreements we had with her. 

 Photo by Darin Gregson, taken from the Peace Bridge

Photo by Darin Gregson, taken from the Peace Bridge

BOW: post from the field #4: September 25, 2015

| from Calgary, developing the performance score

We hauled a heavy wooden table and four chairs over and down the retaining rocks that skirt Prince’s Island, through the water and onto the small, pebbled island visible from the Peace Bridge. The Surge Co. dancers’ performance score is simultaneous to ours; they begin in duos and trios across the entire length of the bridge and ultimately join us by wading through the water to the island, which marks the end of the performance score.

Calgary dance artist Oriana Pagnotta dances with us on the small island. Seated at the table armed with a stapler, pens, a stamp, a stack of manila file folders, a jug of water and four wineglasses, Oriana becomes the representation of the blind mechanisms of bureaucracy. Mostly seated on chairs, Anne, Wojciech, and I present Oriana’s character with pebbles or stones and wait with trepidation to see if she will file or reject the object. She holds the stone a loft, feels the weight of it, examines its’ texture and other properties before either: vigorously stamping it, labeling it, and stapling it into a file folder; or throwing it far away. If Oriana’s character is particularly displeased with the object offered, she slowly pours water into a wineglass, and then flings it into our face (or other parts of our bodies). When we are doused with water, we must fall from our chairs onto the stones, and stay put until we have the gumption to collect and offer another object. Nothing we do goes unnoticed by Oriana’s character: our dance is monitored by her. We are thrilled by Oriana’s willingness to play such an unlikable character. We are also delighted by the questions our actions provoked in incidental audiences during our rehearsals.

 Photo by Darin Gregson

Photo by Darin Gregson


BOW: post from the field #5: October 14, 2015

| from St. John’s, discovering the ghost of rivers

Here in Newfoundland, we ask ourselves, “what comment can we effectively make about water and people’s relationship to water on a island where people have lived relied so closely on water for survival and culture for generations?”. Anne has the idea to investigate hidden and historic waters of St. John’s after learning that some of the steeply hilled downtown streets were originally rivers flowing into the harbour. Discussion with residents and research at the provincial archives showed us that Prescott Street used to Keen’s Brook. Early settlers in St. John’s built their homes along Keen’s Brook (and the other rivers), threw their waste into the river, and eventually transformed the river into a sewer housed beneath stone and pavement. Standing at the top of Prescott at Rawling’s Cross, I can easily imagine the fast waters of the brook; I can almost hear her silenced gushing sound.

Prescott Street is compelling for other reasons. The new fence surrounding the harbour skirt is visible from almost all points along the street. Built for “security and safety” reasons a few years ago in spite of much protest from St. John’s residents, this tall black fence cuts off the working harbour from the people who have enjoyed accessing its’ activities for centuries. We begin to imagine making a physical statement against the fence. We begin to imagine rolling down the steep hill of Prescott to meet the barrier fence between the ghost of Keen’s Brook, us, and the ocean beyond it.

 Photo by Wojciech Mochniej

Photo by Wojciech Mochniej

BOW: post from the field #6: October 26, 2015

| from St. John’s, unraveling after the performance

Rolling down the hill to the harbour became a meditation for me. One task in our performance score was to roll along the sidewalk of Prescott Street, while holding a wine glass filled with water. This was the option I solely focussed upon for the one and a half hours it took us to travel from hilltop to harbour fence. Through three intersections of increasingly heavy traffic, past little girls in windows, passersby, horn honkers, an old man painting his stoop, and an amazed, emotional audience I listened for the waters of the past. I saw in constant rotation: sky, wineglass, fellow dancers, cement, sky, wineglass, fellow dancers, cement, repeat.

Other options in the score included: rolling vertically along the buildings, drawing with sidewalk chalk, balancing a wineglass on your head, dancing in any way you wish, sitting out/observing, carrying a jug to refill the wine glasses. A cast of St. John’s dancers and actors joined us as well as: Lois who brought her ongoing String Art practice, the St. John’s Vocal Exploration Choir who gargle-sang, protected our actions and uttered experimentally, nine-year old Benjamin who traced our bodies with sidewalk chalk and dancers Elaine and Tracy who lead the way with blue lengths of silk rising and falling in the wind. I can’t think of a better mob with whom to roll along a river’s ghost to the ocean. Thank-you to the St. John’s crew; we could not done this without you.

 Photo by Wojciech Mochniej

Photo by Wojciech Mochniej

About: Body of Water: Creative Exchange

Water is personal. Water is political. Water is essential. Water has always connected this country. Three distinct water systems and communities paired with artists Wojciech Mochniej (Calgary), Anne Troake (St. John’s), Aimée Dawn Robinson (Whitehorse). An accumulation of experience, questions, histories, debate through the body, performance, film, and dance.

The Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse), Springboard Performance's Fluid Festival (Calgary), and Neighbourhood Dance Works' Festival of New Dance (St John's), through CanDance Network’s Creative Exchange program, join forces to plunge in to our water systems. Throughout this cross-country process, the BOW artists acknowledge all Nations who care, and cared for, the land (acknowledged and unacknowledged, recorded and unrecorded). Thank-you for hosting this project on your land.

Learn more about The Body of Water Project

Flip FabriQue - CATCH ME! Review

Flip FabriQue - CATCH ME! Review

The scene opens on an empty cabin. It's raining. One by one, the six friends enter and we, the audience, are invited into their overnight reunion.

As the performance unfolds we're treated to the intimacy and familiar rhythms found among old friends. From one to the other, jumping, catching, forming a human net within a fluidity of movement. 

Roy Assaf Review

Roy Assaf Review

Roy Assaf enjoys circularity. Whether it is three men with linked arms rotating through quick patterns of the feet, a body spinning around its own axis, or a compositional arc that repeats almost verbatim a striking beginning cross, the circle runs deep for Assaf. Even when very obvious nods to folk dance movements surface in the work or four hands relentlessly attempt to join but fail, such moments rarely resist this inevitable circularity.

The Alberta Dance Showcase; or a search for mastery and intrigue.

The Alberta Dance Showcase; or a search for mastery and intrigue.

Alberta’s artistic sensibilities were on display with a delightful assortment of performative teasers at the Alberta Dance Showcase Wednesday afternoon. From performances ranging from emerging independent artists to -arguably - our provinces’ most successful company the showcase gave a hint of what Albertan artists are exploring. As you may expect the interests, methodologies, and organizing principals of these works were as diverse as our weather patterns; however, the commonality was an interplay between physical mastery and intrigue.

On Foot & Polyhedron

On Foot & Polyhedron

By Hilary James 

At 9:30 in the evening, on Tuesday, October 29th, myself and several devoted dance fans ventured downtown to the Vertigo Theatre. The show was a double bill featuring On Foot by Danny Nielson, and Polyhedron by Catherine Hayward and Shayne Johnson. 

Danny Nielsen's On Foot - Review

Danny Nielsen's On Foot - Review

He walked onstage – a straight-legged, up-shouldered, plaid-shirted, short-haired, regular-looking white boy. Then he blew me away.

Tap dance is not easy. In its true essence, it is more music than movement; more ear candy than visual delight or stimulation.  This is because the dancer has four taps (heel and toe of each foot) to generate intricate rhythms while actually bearing the weight of the body. If you have to think about weight transfer to free up the “other foot” to make a sound, you will never be a tap dancer.