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About Future Festivals

From early 2023 to the end of 2024, the Future Festivals project brings together a network of festivals from Canada and abroad to jointly reimagine the role and responsibilities of publicly-funded festivals in post-COVID times. The network partners are New Now Festival (Essen, Germany), MUTEK (Montreal), imagineNATIVE (Toronto), Mois Multi (Quebec City), send+receive (Winnipeg), New Forms (Vancouver), and MUTEK.MX / MUTEK.JP.

During April the festival network came together for a month-long co-design process. In a series of workshops participants identified present challenges, envisioned ideal futures, and most importantly mapped the trajectories and activities of the Future Festivals project as stepping stones to bridge between these challenges and futures. A summary of the outcomes of these workshops as follows:

Present Challenges:

  • Accessibility: adapting to post-COVID biopolitics and comfort levels

  • Capacity: staff burnout and brain drain, desire to educate next generation of cultural workers

  • Funding: operational vs. project, grants vs. corporate sponsorship

  • Inclusivity: building community, providing access (to the wider public)

  • Sustainability: engaging the climate crisis in operations and programming

Ideal Future:

  • Abundance: UBI-like financial support for artists and cultural workers

  • Accountability: not only to funders, but to engaged public

  • Collaboration: working 'horizontally' with other orgs, exploring decentralized models

  • Resistance: keeping festivals un-productive (battling commercialization)

  • Security: long term permanent facility for administration and production procured

  • Sustainability: gravity of climate crisis has informed rethinking of operations

Future Festivals Lab

During the project’s co-design process in spring 2023, the partners identified shared challenges surrounding questions of accessibility, resilience and sustainability.

Over 18 months, each participating festival hosts a Future Festivals Lab that gathers the group, their extended network and selected experts in addressing these fundamental questions of festival-making.

The goal: deeply analyze shared problems and prototype solutions—from immediate, easy to implement measures to more ambitious, long-term proposals.

About the Lab

Future Festivals Survey

The Future Festivals research group invites all festival-makers, artists, and audiences to help assess the state of our cultural infrastructure and working in the arts. The survey collects basic info, personal opinions, and offers opportunities to get involved.

About the Survey

Documentation & Publication

The on-going documentation and publication is an inherent part of the project. We partnered with HOLO magazine, which are accompanying the project through an evolving multimedia dossier on

Future Festivals Field Guide

HOLO Dossiers FF Field Guide LEAD D 1600


Get in touch at

Maurice Jones, Project Lead, Future Festivals -
Sarah Mackenzi
e, Creative Director, MUTEK Forum -
Sarah-Ève Tousignant
, Funding and Strategic Projects Manager -

MUTEK acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts