Cole Foundation grants $195,500 to Quebec theatre companies for 2020-21 season

Award winners of Intercultural Conversations (IC-CI) grant programme announced

Teesri Duniya Theatre’s Counter Offence, Production Grant Recipient of the Cole Foundation’s IC-CI program (Pictured: M. Briganti, A. S. Nakhjavani, A. Varma. Photo Credit: Svetla Atanasova)

MONTREAL, August 4th 2020 – With diversity in all its facets at the core of the Cole Foundation’s Intercultural Conversations-Conversations Interculturelles (IC-CI) programme, Foundation President and Chairman Barry Cole is proud to announce the latest round of grant winners.

The IC-CI programme was created to motivate the production of professional theatre that features intercultural dialogue and introduces Montrealers to other cultural heritages and social realities. This includes themes and issues surrounding inclusion, as well as stories involving other marginalized communities. For the recent competition, 12 companies were given 15 crucial grants to support diverse theatrical stories in Quebec, for a total of $195,500 for the 2020-21 season. New this year is a second application date to accommodate the timetable of independent theatre companies, as well as funding for post-show audience talkbacks to continue the conversation initiated in the play.

Ongoing recognition for the need to honour every voice

Cole is very pleased with the outcome of this newest application practice, “This first-time spring competition received high-quality applications which yielded an excellent acceptance rate. The Foundation is also happy to mark and advance the trend of collaborations and co-productions—between French and English companies, between companies from diverse cultures, and for various local and international tours,” said Cole. He adds, “It’s clear the Intercultural Conversations-Conversations Interculturelles programme has great resonance with Quebec theatre companies, fostering their desire to explore diversity. The initiative that the Cole Foundation has enabled for over 10 years continues to help companies transition to this meaningful work.” 

Play submissions encompass a widespread range of cultures and the varied communities within them. This cycle of grants sees award-winning productions in translation, the same play being performed in different theatres, and a range of styles and inspirations including clown, marionettes, children’s theatre, and epic 16th century literature. Works, written by emerging and established playwrights, target a wide range of ages and include themes and ideas about racial and queer politics colliding at a Pride parade; the realities between French and English theatre in Quebec; reflections on culinary traditions from various origins; the intersection of racism and violence against women; the tension and irony surrounding ‘protecting secularism’; the relationship between the USA and China; and the impact of water access in West Africa compared to Europe or Canada.

Théatre de l’Oeil’s Furioso, Production Grant Recipient of the Cole Foundation’s FC-CI program. (Photo Credit: Michel Pinault)

Recipients of the latest competition

The Foundation’s encouragement is felt across the board. This from Simon Boudreault, Artistic Director of Théâtre de l’Œil, “Like the rod that brings the puppet to life, the Cole Foundation brings this piece to life. Our upcoming show, Furioso, debunks clichés and promotes relationships with others.” Amy Blackmore, Executive and Artistic Director of MainLine Theatre, is “thankful that the additional competition deadline has allowed us to confirm that we will be able to mentor and support four BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) artists through this new programme.” From Rahul Varma, Artistic Director, Teesri Duniya Theatre: “While the pandemic has reinforced inequities and exclusions, Intercultural Conversations offers an opportunity to understand those inequities and reverse the wrong. The Foundation’s support of our work promotes the necessary dialogue to move forward together.” Said Hélène Ducharme, Artistic Director, Théâtre Motus, “The Cole Foundation has undoubtedly become a major partner in the creation of intercultural projects. Their openness and understanding of current issues as well as their great adaptability to the realities of the creative community is precious and unique.”


  • Théatre aux Écuries– Bonnes Bonnes by Sophie Gee;
  • Teesri Duniya Theatre– Merchant of God by Rahul Varma;
  • Théatre Motus– Paroles d’eau by Hélène Ducharme and Patricia Gomis (also production and translation grants).


  • Duceppe– Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood (also translation grant);
  • Geordie Productions– The Little Mighty Superhero by Marie Barlizo;
  • Jamais Lu– Le territoire autrement, collective creation including students;
  • MainLine Theatre– Culturally Diverse Artist Project;
  • Théatre de l’Oeil– Furioso by Olivier Kemeid;
  • Espace Libre– Every Day She Rose by Andrea Scott and Nick Green (also translation grant);
  • Centaur Theatre and Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui– Cyclorama by Laurence Dauphinais and Antoine Yared;
  • Teesri Duniya Theatre– Counter Offence by Rahul Varma;
  • L’Acteur en marche– Auditions by Mohsen El Gharbi.


  •  As listed above: Chimerica, Paroles d’eau, and Every Day She Rose.

The deadline for the next competition of the award is Friday, October 2, 2020 at 5:00pm. Theatre companies interested in applying for a grant can download the necessary application forms and information from the Cole Foundation’s web site at:

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