Night of Dread Festival

You’re invited…

Clay and Paper Theatre presents the 23rd Annual Night of Dread Festival, from October 6th to 29th, a month-long series of free, public, hands-on workshops, culminating in a theatrical pageant, with giant puppets, fire spinners, stilters & live music.

At this much loved, family friendly, multi-arts festival, Clay and Paper Theatre invites Davenport residents to call on, mock and banish their small fears and their big fears for their community and the world. Through engaging art making opportunities, puppetry, pageantry, music and ritual, we’ll face our darkest fears together.

For the first time in 23 years, we need to ask for your crucial help to cover the costs for the Night of Dread Festival and to donate to our Dreadful Fundraiser. When you donate to this incredible event, your generosity directly supports local artists and impacts community well-being.

David Anderson, Founding Artistic Director, Clay and Paper Theatre

From left to right: 1) Night of Dread Festival workshop participants make noisemakers. 2) Audience members watch the 2014 Pageant in Dufferin Grove Park. 3) Performer volunteers attend a dress rehearsal for the 2015 Pageant scenario.

Family friendly, multi-arts programming for everyone!

The Night of Dread Festival info tent can be found every Thursday throughout October at the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmer’s Market from 3 to 7pm, for giant puppet and Lantern Making Workshop demos. Most importantly, be sure to come and share your fears with us, write them down on a piece of paper and feed them to the Fear Catcher onsite!

Free Lantern Making Workshops – Creatures of the Night, will take place outdoors at the Dufferin Grove Park Field House, October 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23. Families (kids 8 and older), adults and teens are all welcome. Workshops sign-up is at

From left to right: 1) Festival mask making workshop. 3) A Night of Dread shrine. 3) Drop-in Open Studio session with community members.

Drop-in Open Studio Sessions are  back at Clay and Paper Theatre’s Sterling Studio on October 11, 13, 16, 18, 20 & 23, where we welcome members of the community to explore different puppet building and art making techniques with us. Adults and teens are welcome. 

As always, the Night of Dread Festival eagerly welcomes Volunteers for the Pageant itself. Be a park Guide, or an Event Assistant or a Puppeteer or Character Performer. Check out more volunteer details here or download our online 2022 Volunteer Handbook.

Finally, join us for our last evening of revels at the Night of Dread Festival Pageant on Saturday, October 29th at 7pm in Dovercourt Park. Audience members are treated to a community theatrical spectacle in which the Fear of the Year for 2022 is announced and confronted – The Fear of the Four Horses of the Anthropocene – Denial, Division, Destruction and Despair.

Don’t forget, the dress code for the event is black and white and most dreadful!

Tamara Romanchuk, Co-Artistic Director, Clay and Paper Theatre

Fire spinners and circus artists, New World Circus Army, will light up the night, accompanied by electrifying musical performances from Juno award winning jazz saxophonist, Richard Underhill, accompanied by the Kensington Horns, and a final show climax from powerhouse Afro-Brazilian percussionists and singers, Maracatu Mar Aberto.  Dress code: Black & White & Dreadful. This pageant performance is a Pay-What-You-Can event.

From left to right: 1) The Shuffle Demons perform at the Festival community dance in 2015. 3) Maracatu Mar Aberto warms up the crows before the pageant in 2016. 3) New World Circus Army fire spinners dazzle at the 2018 Festival.

Where’s the Pageant?

Due to ongoing renovations, the Dufferin Grove Park Rink House is unavailable to us this year as a staging ground for the full Night of Dread Pageant, bonfire, installations, concerts and dance. Therefore, October 29th is a pageant-only celebration in Dovercourt Park (Intersection: Bartlett Ave & Fernbank Ave).

Clay and Paper Theatre