Upintheair Announces New rEvolver Resident Curator Program

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new Resident Curator Program at the rEvolver Festival. Drawing on 5 years of success and growth of the festival Guest Curator position, the Resident Curator Program will engage two emerging curators on overlapping two-year terms. In their first year, participants will help program the festival and receive mentorship and learning opportunities in programming, curation, festival production, and leadership. In the second year, they will take a leadership role in the curatorial process, guide specific aspects of the festival program, and help mentor the first year participant. Participants will be supported to travel to other Canadian festivals, and to represent rEvolver at significant industry events.

Resident Curator Davey Calderon

Resident Curator Davey Calderon

"We believe that this position is one of the most important offerings we make to emerging artists. For much of our existence, we were emerging artists ourselves – part of the community we were working with, and intimate with the ways that young artists were thinking and working. We are now established, mid-career professionals, and we believe it is vital that we continue to have input and decision making power at rEvolver from within the community of emerging artists we serve." Dan and Dave, Artistic Producers 

As part of this growth we are particularly pleased to announce that 2019 Guest Curator Davey Calderon will be returning for the 2020 festival as the inaugural second year Resident Curator. Davey was a vital part of our team in 2019, and his knowledge, work-ethic and enthusiasm will be vital in the expansion of this program, and in delivering the best rEvolver yet in 2020.

Watch this space for the announcement this fall of our incoming first year Resident Curator.

A message from Davey Calderon:

What a year it has been! When I look back at everything that happened during my time as Guest Curator, I am full of gratitude and love for the festival. It was such a honour to work on something that was such an impactful opportunity for emerging performing artists. To see my peers succeed on such a professional platform was such a rewarding experience.

This curational process also marked a personal period of growth. The skills I developed as a curator shifted my viewpoints as an artist. For example, when I started reading submissions for the festival, I learned about all the factors required when choosing programming: Does this artist/show serves the mandate of the festival? Is this a show the artist can feasibly produce for our festival? Can we accommodate all the necessary elements requested in the application?

Those factors in curation is so important to know as a working artist. All this information has improved how I submit applications to festivals; it has refined my “application speak,” which is an artform in itself! Furthermore, this past year’s mentorship in both festival curation and producing has built confidence to pursue my own dream to create my own festival. Which would not have been possible without this opportunity. Cue nervous, yet excited swallow.

For this next year, I am looking forward to be part of the new two-year curation program; I am so ready for more festival responsibilities and mentoring this year’s Resident Curator. And I am giddy with anticipation when it comes to the possibilities of what’s on stage for 2020. That is the best moment in being Resident Curator; seeing all the amazing shows at the festival. Hands down.

Thank you all for your support last year. See you soon when we see spectacular art next year!

Warmth and Love,

Davey Samuel Calderon

A Message from one of our past curators Derek Chan:


Having been involved in the rEvolver Festival a few times as an artist before, it was very illuminating to be in the curator's seat this time. Curating is definitely one of those jobs that seems easy at a glance, but there is a lot to take into consideration. Reading through all the applications made me suddenly realize, 'oh, so that's what a festival curator looks for.' Not just artistically, but also on the producing side of things. A project can be extremely artistically compelling but logistically impossible, which is unfortunate. I remember having to say no to a couple of really cool proposals, because we couldn't find a way to bring them out to Vancouver. As an artist, I am always curious about what other people are making. It was fascinating to identify the common themes and stylistic trends that emerged amongst the applications. Having the opportunity to go through upwards of a hundred applications made me reflect on how I articulate my own work to funders and presenters. Guest curating the rEvolver Festival was like putting together a very large puzzle with Dan and Dave, and it was a fun challenge. It was also a little bit like writing a play, in the sense that I would love to include all that good stuff, but ultimately we need to make cuts because there is only so much room on the page. At the end of the day, it made me feel happy that I had a part in facilitating the works of some wonderful, talented folks that year.