SkirtsAfire Festival is a multidisciplinary theatre and arts festival featuring the work of women. SkirtsAfire takes place in conjunction with International Women’s Day each year. We produce and present passionate, provocative, moving, and entertaining performances, exhibits, and workshops. 

The first skirt was designed and built for the Festival in 2013. It became the Official Festival Skirt that year, and was proudly featured in the Nina Art Gallery for the duration of the programming. In 2014, we opened up the Official Festival Skirt design as a competition in order to expand and allow for the ability to showcase more than one designer each year. The winning skirt has become part of our opening ceremony annually, featured with our Honorary Skirt (Marni Panas in 2019). 

We value diversity in the women we represent and therefore welcome women artists of all diverse backgrounds including trans women, self-identifying women, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, all ethnicities, and all abilities.


As we head into our eighth year, six designers will be chosen to compete in the competition by designing a Skirt made of found and up-cycled materials. Designs must incorporate the theme of “Her 1940s Skirt” which was chosen because our MainStage Production, The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir, is set in 1947 and the Skirt Design Gallery will be housed in the same theatre. We look forward to all interpretations of this theme, so be creative and let us know your artistic vision in the design application.

The top six Skirts will be presented in a runway style display at the festival Media Launch, where the winning Skirt will be crowned the Official Festival Skirt. The top three designs will also be awarded cash prizes. All six designs will be displayed for the duration of the festival, February 27 – March 8, 2020.

Deadline to apply is November 29, 2019. The six finalists will be notified on December 6, 2019.

SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition 2020 Application & Guidelines

Please fill out the above application and return to our Competition Coordinator at by November 29, 2019.

Questions? Please contact us at


2019’s Skirt Designs by (from left to right) Fakhra Abrar, David Cameron, Treasa Webb, Kelly Johner, Jane Kline and Kim Neeser. Photo by Gallican Buki.

“Sustenance” by Amanda Brown, Skirt Design Competition 2018 Winner. Photo by April MacDonald Killins.

“Sustenance” by Amanda Brown, Skirt Design Competition 2018 Winner. Photo by April MacDonald Killins.

2018’s Skirt Designs by (from left to right) Melissa Squire, Lorraine Dezman, Caroline Amaral, Kim Neeser and Karin Lauderdale. Photos by April MacDonald Killins.

2017 Skirt Design Competition Winner, "The Shape of Me," designed by Jane Kline. Photography by Keanna Hiebert.

“The Shape of Me” by Jane Kline, Skirt Design Competition 2017 Winner. Photo by Keanna Hiebert.