SOUND OFF: A Deaf Theatre Festival
Program and component
Arts Across Canada, Public Outreach
Field of practice
Deaf and Disability Arts
Grant Helps Create Performance Opportunities to Showcase Deaf Canadian Artists
SOUND OFF was created in 2016 in response to a lack of opportunities for performing Canadian Deaf artists and the need for greater public awareness of the Deaf arts.
Deaf theatre festival continues to build its profile
SOUND OFF made its debut in 2017 as the first Deaf theatre festival of its kind in Canada. Since then, it has become an annual event and is presented every February in Edmonton. It features staged readings, workshops, talk-backs, and salon panels. It continues to increase its mainstage shows, with attendance growing every year. The event helps hearing audiences gain a better understanding of Deaf performers’ lived experiences.
Helping hearing audiences appreciate Deaf theatre
Canada Council support for SOUND OFF enabled the Festival to keep its momentum going and increase public awareness of the Deaf performing arts in Canada at a national level by staging a new edition in 2020. The Festival brings Deaf performers together and allows them to network and strengthen their connections. Hearing audiences also benefit from being exposed to a performance style they would not normally encounter, broadening their perspectives on performance, language and deafness.