Made In Kent: making sure everyone can be a part of the biggest Arts Festival in the region.

Canterbury Festival aims to find, develop and showcase local emerging and mid-career talent. We’re running competitions in each of the different art forms represented in the programme with opportunities for Theatre, Dance, Classical Music, Pop Music, Poetry, and Comedy.  

Each strand of Made in Kent consists of a competition open to the public – the winners will be mentored and showcased as part of Canterbury Festival.

In addition to Made in Kent, our year-round programme includes work with young people, artists, educators and our audiences; encouraging engagement with the arts for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Please apply by email to [email protected] and state clearly which opportunity you are interested in.

Work Placement 

February – July / 1 day a week

Tasks: General office admin, data input, answering phone, design work, shadowing.

Would suit someone in sixth form or college who is keen to go into arts administration and is able to carry out some design tasks.

Promotions Assistant

February – May / 1 – 2 days a week

Tasks: to maintain and develop existing promotional schemes with restaurants, hotels, local businesses and seek new partners.

Would suit someone who is good with people and who is able to chat comfortably on the phone/in person to new businesses. Great if you want a career in promotions, sales or marketing.

Graphic Design Student

July & August / 3 days a week

Daily travel expenses paid

Tasks: To create digital and print ready artwork for Festival events for use on social media, website and distribution.

Would suit an art/design or graphics students.

Own laptop with preferred software desired.

Schools poetry competition

Our annual county-wide search for tomorrow’s famous poets has begun – submit your entry for the under 18s poetry competition today.

Each year Canterbury Festival run a poetry competition which is open to Kent-based children and young people aged 5-18. Last year over 1500 children and young people from across Kent applied.

This year’s theme is Earth Tribe, although we welcome abstract interpretations which could include the planet, nature, humans, animals, climate and more.

We shortlist up to 40 poems; all shortlisted winners’ poems are published in an anthology and awarded a book voucher. We invite shortlisted winners to read their poems each year on National Poetry Day, Thursday 1 October 2020, which will be held at St Edmunds School, Canterbury.

Parents/carers/guardians can enter multiple poems using the entry form below.An Earth Tribe home resource pack is also available below to aid budding young poets. The deadline for entries is Friday 17 July.

Click here to download an entry form

Click here to download the Earth Tribe home resource

For more information please email [email protected]

The Canterbury Festival Foundation supports exceptionally talented young musicians and vocalists in East Kent, helping them to pursue their musical training through its annual bursary of up to £2,000, the opportunity to perform at the Canterbury Festival and be a music ambassador to children and young people in Kent.

The Bursary Competition has grown in popularity every year since its inception in 2011, and each year, showcases the outstanding talent of Kent’s young musicians.

The competition exists to support excellence in talented young musicians across Kent, and has two categories. The Junior category offers professional performance experience for musicians aged 12-14, and the Senior musicians aged 15-18 are eligible to compete for a cash bursary of up to £2000 which they can put towards new instruments, tuition, courses or international trips. We also encourage applications from individuals aged under 25 with special educational needs.

The winner, announced each year at the annual Bursary concert as part of the main Canterbury Festival programme, also becomes the Festival’s Ambassador for the Arts, developing skills in leading workshops alongside performing in various Festival events throughout the year.

Click here to find out about our 2019 winner, Siena Barr.

Applications for this year’s competition are now open, the deadline for submission is Friday 15 May.

Successful shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend auditions taking place at Kent College on Monday 6 July, 4-7pm.

Click here to download the application pack

Please note that we are keeping up to date with Government guidelines and if people are unable to meet in person to audition, then we will be accepting video and online submissions.

For more information please contact [email protected]

Made in Kent Dance

Made in Kent: Dance is a performance opportunity for early-stage career dance groups or soloists, aged 16-24 from the Kent area.

Winners of this year’s competition will be awarded:

  • £150 development fee.
  • A development day including feedback and mentoring with Ash Mukherjee and Lea Anderson MBE.
  • Performance showcase during Canterbury Festival.
  • Featured in Canterbury Festival brochure in print and online.
  • On the day venue technical and stage manager for your performance.

We are delighted to welcome both the hugely talented Ash Mukherjee and Lea Anderson MBE to the Made in Kent: Dance team for 2019. They individually bring a wealth of experience and knowledge across multiple disciplines and will provide valuable guidance to the winners.

Applications to this year’s competition are now closed. Please join us on Wednesday 30 October 2019 for this year’s showcase at Anselm Theatre.

Made In Kent: Theatre offers emerging groups and companies the opportunity to perform a show during Kent’s International Arts Festival. If you are in the early years of your acting, directing or scriptwriting career or if you are studying for a qualification in Theatre or Performance Arts then this competition could be for you.

The winners will receive:

  • Performance of your show during Canterbury Festival.
  • Net box office takings, plus £150 towards rehearsal costs.
  • Feature in the Canterbury Festival brochure both online and in print.
  • On the day venue technician and stage manager.
  • Rehearsal feedback from the Festival Participation Manager and Festival Director.
  • A development day with theatre professional.

This year’s competition is now closed. Please join us for the sharing of a new work by Alternate Perspective Theatre on Thursday 31 October at Anselm Theatre.

Track Record - Ruben Elbrond-Palmer c.Tim Stubbings

Made In Kent: Track Record offers musicians and vocalists living in Kent, aged 14-21, the chance to perform at Canterbury Festival, receive feedback from an industry professional, record in a studio environment and develop their creative skills.  This year’s prize includes:

  • Rehearsal space at Your Music School, Canterbury.
  • Four Hours Recording time with an engineer in a local professional studio.
  • Interview and performance slot on Academy FM.
  • Performance & audition feedback from Industry professionals.
  • Song Writing Masterclass.
  • Tickets to live music at Ramsgate Music Hall.
  • Extended performance opportunities.

This competition is open to all musicians aged between 14-17 (juniors) 18-21 (seniors) and covers ALL genres. We encourage original material and allowances will be made for that.

Join us for this year’s showcase on Sunday 27 October 2019, 3pm at The Ballroom.

Made In Kent Comedy

Each year Canterbury Festival showcases the best in new comedic talent with the Made In Kent: Comedy showcase. Successful applicants will feature as part of this year’s comedy night, performing in front of a festival crowd and facing a panel of judges.

For more information about this year’s events and to find out how you can apply in the future, contact [email protected]