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HOLD FAST Festival is a celebration of contemporary performance, interdisciplinary art, and community engagement in St. John’s, NL.

Our core values are:
  • Facilitating community engagement and meaningful exchange
  • Increasing public arts literacy
  • Creating opportunities for artists
  • Critiquing and subverting structural oppressions & systems of power, with emphasis on:
    • queer, feminist, and anti-racist perspectives
    • Newfoundland & Labrador regional identity
    • and Indigenous resistance to colonialism

HOLD FAST culminates in a Saturday afternoon Art Crawl, a series of performances, installations, and interactive pop-ups staged outdoors and in non-gallery venues across downtown St. John’s. Past programming has included performances, interactive installations, artist talks, workshops, dance, drag, burlesque, film screenings, and free community events for people of all ages.

HOLD FAST acknowledges the First Peoples of the lands where our work is situated; the Mi’kmaq, Beothuk, Innu, and Inuit, of Ktaqmkuk, Nitassinan, Nunatsiavut, and NunatuKavut. We strive to move beyond acknowledgment to active solidarity, by building meaningful relationships in our communities, dismantling structures of white supremacy, and opposing ongoing colonization. We invite our communities to consider their own responsibilities to Indigenous peoples and to the stolen lands where we make our homes. 

Call for Featured Artists

HOLD FAST Festival is now accepting applications for 2023 Featured Artists!

Apply by: May 14, 2023

Each Featured Artist:

  • presents an Art Crawl project (e.g. performance or interactive installation)
  • leads a workshop
  • & gives an artist talk

This year, HOLD FAST will take place from August 23-26 in St. John’s, NL/Ktaqmkuk. Artists are paid in accordance with CARFAC fee schedules:

  • Festival Performance Fee (Art Crawl): $440
  • Workshop Fee: $335
  • Artist Talk Fee: $335
  • Travel Stipend for artists outside of St. John’s metro area: up to $600 (with receipts)

Info Session

Thinking about applying to HOLD FAST 2023, but not sure where to start?

In this info session, Festival Coordinator Elijah offers a quick overview of the festival, talks through components of the Featured Artist application, and ends with a Q&A.