National Centre for New Musicals: Application Criteria

Presented by the Incite Foundation for the Arts

Learn more about the National Centre for New Musicals (NCNM), a Theatre Aquarius program. Read about the application process, criteria and more.

Submissions are now closed. Thank you for applying!



The criteria to submit for NCNM is very fluid. You will be asked to answer/provide the following:

  • An overview of your project
  • How far along you are
  • Current team (if any)
  • Projected cast size
  • Your goals for the piece
  • A writing sample – 1-2 scenes (up to 20 pages total) If scenes have not been written, please expand on your concept and the writing style you envision for your piece
  • An audio sample – 1-2 song samples, if applicable. If songs are not recorded, upload 1-2 lyric sheets. If no music or lyrics have been written, please expand on the musical genre and tone you envision for your piece


Portal Opens

Portal opens October 11th to December 15th, 2023.

Round 1

Submissions are blindly adjudicated by the curatorial team. Through a two-phase process, 10 projects will be selected to move into Round 2.

Round 2

The Advisory Team selects a short list of projects that will be given a virtual interview.

2 – 5 projects are chosen by the advisory team.

The chosen applicants will be notified in March 2024.

Cast of “Maggie the Musical” (2023)


No. We are accepting everything from a concept to a fully development musical, with support through 2 streams; An incubation program for projects in early stages of development; and a presentation program to support workshops, showcases and pathways to premieres for more fully developed projects.

No. There is no need to invest in produced audio clips for this submission. Piano/vocal is efficient for our panel to adjudicate.

No. NCNM successful projects are not promised a future production with Theatre Aquarius. NCNM offers space, resources and mentorship for creators to continue the development of their work.

The Curatorial team is made up of approximately 20 theatre professionals spanning a variety of disciplines, ages, ethnicities and backgrounds – at least one from each province and territory.

Yes. As long as you are a current Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you are eligible to submit. This program does offer physical space for development, so you would want the ability to return to Canada should your project be selected.

The primary applicant must be a Canadian citizen, but the entirety of the team does not.

There is no requirement for you to have a team assembled. You can have as many or as few people attached to the project as you see fit.

Each year, NCNM will select 2-5 pieces for development. The number of pieces is dependent on the requirements of each piece and what stage of development they are in.

Yes. If you are in a position where you have more than one concept to put forward, you are welcome to submit them all, however no artist will have more than one piece selected in a single season.

All participants will be notified mid-February on the status of their piece. A second round of evaluations will take place and the top 5 submissions will be contacted mid-March for a virtual interview with the Advisory Team. The pieces selected for NCNM 2024 will be announced at the end of March.

Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback to Round 1 applicants.

Yes, song cycles and jukebox musicals can be submitted, however only musicals that have obtained the rights to copy written material will be eligible for final selection. You would be required in Round 2 to provide a signed letter from the rights holder stating all underlying rights have been secured.

Email Jenny Weisz at with any questions