Contact East 2023 to Generate Performances in Communities Across the Atlantic Region

Atlantic Presenters Association’s performing arts showcase conference will take place September 21–24, 2023, in Woody Point, Ktaqmkuk / Newfoundland & Labrador

For Immediate Release

September 14, 2023 (Woody Point, NL) – When you see an artist perform at your local theatre, arts and cultural centre, or festival, there is a whole series of steps that happen behind the scenes before they can get on stage—and more often than not for Atlantic Canadian performers, that first step starts at Contact East. 

The Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) has announced the complete lineup of acts who will take part in its flagship showcasing conference, happening September 21–24, 2023, in Woody Point, Ktaqmkuk, Newfoundland & Labrador. Celebrating its 48th edition this year, Contact East 2023 will gather performing arts presenters, managers, agents, and artists from Atlantic Canada and beyond for four-days of performances, pitches, professional development, and networking.

Contact East provides an opportunity for arts presenters—the people who decide which artists perform at their venues—from across the country and internationally to see top-quality performances from a diverse range of artistic genres. Performances include, but are not limited to, music, cabaret, dance, Deaf, Disability and Mad arts, circus arts, theatre, comedy, youth-oriented programming, and cultural performances. The 15-minute performances, or showcases, that take place at Contact East act as sneak previews of the artists that might perform in Atlantic Canadian communities in the coming years. Plus, artists are given an invaluable opportunity to network and build relationships with key contacts in the performing arts sector. 

 “Each year we are thrilled to showcase a wide and diverse range of live acts that will help presenters in Atlantic Canada bring engaging, world-class entertainment to their communities,” says Laurie Gillis, Executive Director of APA. “We challenge ourselves from year to year to bring the best to Contact East—and looking at this lineup, I think we have done it again in 2023.  We look forward to helping these artists build their profiles in Atlantic Canada while providing top tier live programming for large and small venues and festivals throughout the region.” 

Over 30 artists will take the stage at the Heritage Theatre in Woody Point and Nurse Myra Bennet Theatre in Cow Head, the host venues for the conference, as well as other small venues across the region. Many past participants have gone on to great touring success; alumni Natalie MacMaster, Jah’Mila, Matt Andersen, and David Myles have all seen national and international acclaim following their time at Contact East. This year’s lineup features some of the most talented up-and-coming multidisciplinary professionals in the performing arts world for a weekend of stunning performances. The full list of showcasing and pitching artists is available on the APA website

Artists at Contact East are selected through an extensive adjudication process, resulting in a lineup of unique and engaging performances that will appeal to audiences of all kinds. The Contact East Selection Committee was convened in consultation with APA’s Equity Action Advisory Committee to ensure the artist selection process was fair, accessible, and equitable to all. APA acknowledges the value that lived and community-based experiences and practices have in creating fair artist selection processes, and strives to create more equitable representation on stages across Atlantic Canada.

Contact East has a proven track record of generating bookings and tours for the artists that showcase and pitch. Many of the tours arising from Contact East are scheduled through APA’s Block Booking program, which takes effect when three or more member presenters are interested in booking the same artist or group. When this happens, APA will facilitate a discussion among the presenters and the artists to organize dates and routing that work for all involved parties. Block booking increases the opportunity to present shows that might normally be out of reach for individual theatres, arts and cultural centres, or festivals, either financially or logistically, making it an essential tool in bringing cultural performances to small or remote communities.

For its 2023 edition, Contact East recognizes and is grateful for the support of the following funding partners: Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, FACTOR, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador through the departments of Tourism, Culture, Arts & Recreation and Industry, Energy and Technology, the province of Nova Scotia through the department of Communities, Culture, Tourism & Heritage, and the Province of New Brunswick through the department of Tourism, Heritage & Culture.

For more about Contact East 2023 and its previous editions, visit