Northerner's Creation Unit 2023


In January 2023, Pat the Dog launched its inaugural Northerners’ Creation Unit; an artistic and professional development program for theatre makers in Northern Ontario. From January to April, 11 playwrights from Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Moose Factory, Thunder Bay, North Bay and Sudbury met weekly over Zoom to share their writing, discuss their processes, and watch each other’s work grow and change. The Unit culminated at PlaySmelter in May, where all participants were able to gather in person to celebrate. For 2024, we are thrilled to be expanding the program to include TWO streams that we hope will build and expand on the work that began in January. 

The Northerners-in-Residence Program

is a brand new 6-month play development initiative, wherein 2-3 playwrights are guided through an intensive generation, revision, and workshopping process of a new work. Participants will have access to one-on-one dramaturgical support, monthly group meetings, a professional workshop, as well as additional programming (including guest artist talks, and fellowship opportunities with the NCU) . Activities will culminate in a full staged reading of the work-in-progress at PlaySmelter in May 2024.

The Northerners’ Creation Unit

Now in its second year, the Unit is a free 4-month training opportunity for creatives interested in connecting with fellow Northern playwrights and deepening/expanding their writing practice. Participants will meet weekly to engage in creative discussion, experiment with in-session writing exercises, and share their works-in-progress. Applicants do not need to have an existing project-in-development in order to join! Activities can be used to generate new material OR shed new light on developing works. In addition, participants will have access to individual dramaturgical feedback (via email), additional fellowship programming with the NIR, and the chance to present an excerpt of their work in the NCU Cabaret at PlaySmelter in May 2024.

Click on the links above to access application requirements for each stream!

If you feel your artistry would be served by BOTH streams, we encourage you to make a separate application to each. However, if successful, you will only be admitted to ONE program. As our intention is to support as many artists as we can, no one will be offered more than one spot. Past participants of the NCU are welcome to submit to either stream this year.

The Northerners’ Creation Unit & Northerners-in-Residence Program welcomes applicants from all backgrounds who reflect the many communities that make up Northern Ontario. In particular, we will prioritize applications from artists who identify as IBPOC and/or 2SLGBTQ+. Pat the Dog is committed to providing an accessible and barrier-free environment for its staff and artists. If you have questions or concerns about the accessibility of this application process, or the programs themselves, please feel free to reach out to Caitie at for accommodations.


For any questions, please reach Caitie at


Caitie is a writer and dramaturg who’s as excited about telling stories as she is about empowering others to do the same. Over her career as a dramaturg, Caitie has designed and facilitated several playwriting units for emerging artists, most notably at Tarragon Theatre (Young Playwrights Unit 2017-2020), and Driftwood Theatre Group, where she began as Company Dramaturg in 2020. Most recently, Caitie was the Dramaturg on Living with Shakespeare by Jeremy Smith & Steven Gallagher at Driftwood Theatre, and Assistant Dramaturg on Queen Goneril by Erin Shields at Soulpepper Theatre. 

Caitie has been compiling Pat the Dog’s monthly e-bulletin of resources for playwrights since 2017, and offering dramaturgical support to playwrights through the organization since 2022. She is thrilled to be returning to facilitate the Northerners’ Creation Unit this year, and launching the brand new Northerners-in-Residence Program with Pat the Dog.