March 11 - 26

2016 SPARK Festival

Show Info



ice smaller

March 15 – 19, 2016
Belfry Mainstage

The Governor General’s Award for Drama 2013

“Iceland is a beautifully structured and extremely powerful play that haunts the mind. Billon is an original and exciting voice.” Atom Egoyan

Why Not Theatre, Toronto

Written by Nicolas Billon
Directed by Ravi Jain

Directed by Ravi Jain (from A Brimful of Asha), Iceland is set against the backdrop of the banking crisis and focuses on a confrontation between a real estate agent and a tenant that takes an unexpected turn.

“★★★★★…Nicolas Billon’s absorbing play shows how three vastly different people are affected by what one character calls the C-word (capitalism) and the financial crisis. Billon is a masterful storyteller, drawing us into his characters’ lives via richly detailed monologues (plus a bit of dialogue)…full of haunting imagery that echoes throughout the play.” NOW Magazine

“The collapse of Iceland’s three major banks, considered one of the catalysts that precipitated the credit crisis, became the starting point for the play,” explains playwright Billon, “I drafted a series of interconnected monologues that examine the different facets of the financial crisis. My approach in Iceland is to humanize the financial crash…”

“★★★★…Ravi Jain’s direction is tight and focused, while the design is spare and effective…A detailed and cleverly written script, performed and directed with real verve. This is an Iceland with lots of fire.” Toronto Star

The Summerworks NOW Audience Choice Award
NOW Magazine Outstanding Production
NOW Magazine Outstanding Ensemble
NOW Magazine Outstanding Direction

Kawa Ada, Christine Horne and Shannon Currie

Creative Team
Design by Joanna Yu
Lighting Design by Kimberly Purtell
Sound Design by Richard Feren
Assistant Director Jenna Turk
Stage Manager Neha Ross

Audience Notes –  Recommended for 15+


The Gay Heritage Project

March 22 – 26, 2016
Belfry Mainstage

“Celebratory, upbeat, and deeply moving” Toronto Star

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto

Created and Performed by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn and Andrew Kushnir
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran

Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn and Andrew Kushnir, three of our country’s most gifted creator/performers, set out to answer one question: is there such a thing as gay heritage? The result is a hilarious and moving homage to the people who came before and the events that continue to shape our lives.

“…funny, imaginative, thought-provoking, a wide-ranging and wildly entertaining inquiry into what it means to be gay.” Globe and Mail

Paul, Damien, and Andrew bring these people and stories to life onstage in rapid-fire succession, using a physical, comedic, and fast-paced performance style. They offer us an eclectic mix of historic events and personal experiences, creating a portrait of what it means to be gay in 2015, and the heroes and stories that inspire, comfort, challenge, and empower.

“…unrelentingly entertaining…one of the most exhilarating evenings in the theatre that you will ever have.” My Gay Toronto


Creative Team
Set and Lighting Design by Kimberly Purtell
Video Design by Cameron Davis
Sound Design by Thomas Ryder Payne
Historical Consultant J. Paul Halferty

Audience Notes – 105 minutes, no intermission / Recommended for 15+



March 11 – 12, 2016
Royal Theatre

“Betroffenheit is rare and staggering…a stunning testament to what can happen when life turns into art.” ★★★★ Globe and Mail

Kidd Pivot / Electric Company Theatre, Vancouver

Created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young
Choreographed and Directed by Crystal Pite
Written by Jonathon Young

Two of Canada’s most ground-breaking performing arts companies have come together to create Betroffenheit, an innovative, boundary-stretching hybrid of theatre and dance. Betroffenheit is a unique creative collaboration by Kidd Pivot artistic director and choreographer Crystal Pite, and Electric Company Theatre co-artistic director, writer and performer Jonathon Young.

“Enthralling, I was so engrossed I nearly forgot to breathe…an evening of dance/theatre that’s as thrilling as it is affecting.” Mooney on Theatre

The German word betroffenheit describes a state of shock and bewilderment that encompasses a person in the wake of a disaster. Betroffenheit takes you to a timeless, liminal space where you return again and again even as you struggle to gain and maintain distance, and where you keep responding to the disaster long after it has subsided.

“Jonathon Young is a phenomenon…one of the best actors in the world.” The Georgia Straight

Bryan Arias, David Raymond, Cindy Salgado, Jermaine Spivey, Tiffany Tregarthen, and Jonathon Young

Creative Team
Composition and Sound Design by Owen Belton, Alessandro Juliani and Meg Roe
Set Design by Jay Gower Taylor
Costume Design by Nancy Bryant
Lighting Design by Tom Visser
Rehearsal Direction by Eric Beauchesne
Additional Choreography by Bryan Arias and Cindy Salgado (salsa), David Raymond (tap)

Presented in partnership with Dance Victoria

Audience Notes – 120 minutes, including intermission

Ticket Notes – Belfry patrons can get a 20% discount on tickets to Betroffenheit when they use the promo code Spark – call 250-386-6121 or at



March 15 – 19, 2016
Belfry Studio

“This flawlessly-acted and beautifully-staged one-man show is the most stunningly powerful piece of theatre that I’ve seen in a long time.” CBC.CA

Native Earth Performing Arts, Toronto

Written and performed by Cliff Cardinal
Directed by Karin Randoja

Huff is the wrenching yet darkly comic tale of teenage life on the reserve, as Wind and his brothers, caught in a torrent of solvent abuse, struggle to cope with the death of their mother. With biting humour and raw, vivid imagery, the young Cardinal expertly portrays over a dozen characters in his captivating solo performance.

“★★★★…strong, uncompromising storytelling” NOW Magazine

Wind’s fantastic dreamworld bleeds into his haunting reality in this spellbinding tale of family, love, despair, and the possibility of redemption.


CBC Radio’s Unreserved – An interview with Cliff Cardinal

Winner of the 2015 RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwright Prize
Winner of 2012 Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation.

Creative Team
Set and Costume Design by Jackie Chau
Lighting Design by Michelle Ramsay
Sound Design by Alex Williams
Stage Managed by Jennifer Stobart

Audience Notes – 70 minutes, no intermission / Explicit content / Mature audiences only


21 Ways to Make the World Last Longer

March 22 – 26, 2016
Belfry Studio

World premiere

Runaway Moon Theatre, Grindrod, BC

Created by Cathy Stubington and James Fagan Tait
Directed by James Fagan Tait

From the company that brought the beloved puppet adaptation of The Winter’s Tale to SPARK in 2006, comes the premiere of a beautiful piece of puppet theatre, celebrating the small ways in which regular folks make a difference to the world. By turns 21 Ways to Make the World Last Longer is practical, hopeful and a simple tribute to the beauty of humanity.


Belfry 101 Live

March 20, 2016
Belfry Mainstage

World premiere

Created and performed by the students of the Belfry 301 Ensemble
Directed by Erin Macklem and Dave Morris

Belfry 101 Live is an exciting theatre event, collectively created by the remarkable high school students of our Belfry 101 programme. Themes and images from the plays in the Belfry’s current season mix together with the students’ own ideas and concerns, generating an original, surprising and always entertaining piece of theatre.

A talkback with the students will follow the performance.
Audience Notes – approximately 60 minutes, no intermission.




The 2016 SPARK Festival is supported by The Government of Canada, Hotel Zed Victoria, CVV Magazine, Do 250, 100.3 the Q and The Zone @ 91-3.