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Fresh Meat is a playground for Ottawa's theatre makers; giving local individuals and collectives of all levels of experience a unique opportunity to test new ideas in front of an audience. We present world premieres exclusively, and seek out projects that are original and innovative, and that test the traditional boundaries of live performance. Past Fresh Meat participants have used the festival as a launch pad for theatrical works intersecting with a variety of genres, including dance, poetry, burlesque, clown, pantomime, performance art, standup, sketch comedy, storytelling, and many more. We are currently accepting submissions for Fresh Meat 8. Pieces will be presented in Ottawa between October 10 and 19, 2019.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: July 7, 2019 at midnight.

Fresh Meat is committed to inclusive programming that reflects the breadth, depth, and intricacies of Ottawa’s unique cultural makeup. We encourage submissions from artists who identify as members of under-represented communities, a concept we leave open for those artists to self-define, as we strive to create a truly inclusive environment.


Main stage works are 20 minutes in length, and are performed in Arts Court studio.

Participants get:                                               

  • Three 20-minute performance slots over one weekend in October (10-12 or 17-19)

  • A performance stage manager and assistant stage manager

  • Blanket festival marketing

  • A performance fee (TBD)

  • 5 hours of free rehearsal space


The Little Black Box is an intimate installation & performance space (read: chair closet) adjacent to Arts Court studio. Artists who work in the little black box have the space to themselves for one weekend, and can transform it as they wish. The space is perfect for immersive works or installations. Pieces in the Little Black Box will take place continuously throughout the evening, where patrons can come and go as they wish. If you are unsure if your piece is better suited for the Little Black Box or the Main Stage, shoot us an email at

Participants get:

  • Installation for one weekend in October (10-12 or 17-19)

  • A dedicated front of house volunteer

  • Blanket festival marketing

  • A performance fee (TBD)


  • Fill out the application form below by July 7, 2019 at midnight

  • Participants’ artistic practice must be based in Ottawa

  • Any questions? Write us at


All participants will be expected to adhere to our festival Safer Spaces Policy. Read it in full below:

About Fresh Meat

An indie theatre fest made up exclusively of short, original works, Fresh Meat is unique to Ottawa and peerless in Canada. Founded in 2012, Fresh Meat has given life to over 60 20-minute world premieres and paid out more than $40,000 to local creators in direct exchange for their work. By giving artists a place to experiment, Fresh Meat plays a key role in the steady stream of exciting new work being created in Ottawa. Seedlings planted at Fresh Meat have grown into full length productions and have been produced at venues and festivals across the country, including undercurrents, The National Arts Centre, The Gladstone Theatre, national Fringe festivals and more. Others live their three nights at Fresh Meat and are never seen or heard from again. Both are equally valuable outcomes when creating from a place of pure experimentation and play.