As part of the Cultch’s Youth Program, The IGNITE! Mentorship Program offers a series of one-on-one mentorship opportunities in specific media to youth who want to pursue a career in the arts. This year, we are offering mentorships in Dance, Directing, Play Writing, Songwriting, and Spoken Word.

In each of these areas, promising young artists will be paired with a mentor in their chosen media. The Cultch presents some of the most accomplished artists from across Canada and around the world.  The Mentorship program is designed to allow emerging artists  in the community to access and learn from this incredible pool of talent.

Further information about each individual mentorship program is available here.
Further information about each of our mentors is available here.


The young artists will not only receive one-on-one artistic mentorship but will also be afforded unprecedented access to industry professionals, providing them with a well-rounded sense of what it takes to build a career in the arts.

The following organizations were involved in creating and delivering the professional development and industry sessions for IGNITE!: Canadian Associaton of Dance Artists, Ellie O’Day Productions, Hive Creative Labs, Killbeat Media, Diane Kidoda Artist Management, Neighbourhood Productions, Mint Records, Red Cat Records, The Dance Centre, The Dancer Transition Resource Centre, The Georgia Straight, Vancouver Poetry House, Wen Wei Dance, WordPlay.


At the end of the program, participants are provided with a performance opportunity on The Cultch’s stage to showcase the work that has come out of the mentorship sessions. These performances are open to the general public, but are also attended by artistic directors of established companies and by industry leaders. The performances are documented and can be used by the participants for portfolio and CV development.




2009/2010 Play Writing Mentorship participant:

“I can’t believe it’s over. Working on my play, first with a professional, then through rehearsals with other youth like me has been an amazing experience. Not only has the program allowed me to meet and work with a professional playwright that I admire, it also introduced me to a group of like-minded youth who share my love of the theatre. The program has made me want to continue to be active in the theatre even more, and all in all, has been one of the best experiences of my life.”

2008/2009 Dance Mentorship participant:


“As a young dancer, to have a program that offers studio space, the opportunity to work with established artists, and to have my work presented on stage at a venue like the Cultch is something that I would not be able to find anywhere else… After the performance I was approached by a choreographer who had never seen me dance, and he asked me to come and take his class. The solo I created as a part of Ignite! has since been selected to be performed during the 37th instalment of 12 Minutes Max, a highly attended Vancouver dance series.”


Past songwriting mentor Dan Mangan:

“As a teenager, a program like this would have been of infinite use – not just because of the access to working career musicians and writers, but also through the experience and confidence garnered by recording in a professional environment and the immersion in a new community of young, talented, emerging artists from all over the city.

It was great for me to watch the youth interact and support each other throughout the process, and most pertinently, just before their performances at The Cultch to their friends, parents and new fans.”


The IGNITE! Mentorship Program is 100% free. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 24 is welcome to apply; however, participants are typically in their last years of high school, graduated, or in University. Participants are selected by a jury made up of the mentors, members of The Cultch’s Youth Panel and the Youth Program Manager.

Currently entering its third year, The IGNITE! Mentorship Program has become a vital and cherished resource to Vancouver’s emerging arts scene. With an expanded number of mentorships offered this year the program will have even more opportunities for young artists to become involved. In 2009/2010 over 30 young people will be able to participate in these life-changing, one-on-one intensive sessions.

Click here for full application details.


For thirty-five years, the Cultch has offered dynamic programming in theatre, dance and music by local, national and international artists.  We continue to enrich the social and cultural life of Vancouver by bringing world-class cultural presentations to the public, supporting the growth of emerging artists and companies, and facilitating dialogue between groups throughout the Lower Mainland and especially within our local community of East Vancouver.

The Canada Council for the Arts expressed “unqualified support” for The Cultch and its range of high quality regional, national, and international programming, calling it “a significant venue for contemporary dance and theatre.”

For more information about the Cultch and our 2011/2012 performance season, please visit THECULTCH.COM.


One Response to “ABOUT”

  1. […] directing, and play writing. To learn more about the IGNITE! Mentorship Program, please visit the ABOUT […]

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