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a blueprint for the continuance of contemporary live performance


Fall 2020 Update

“We have closely listened to the needs of artists, consulted with our audience and engaged members of our local community to help us determine our organizational priorities for the upcoming year. We have heard the clarion call for artistic innovation and institutional transformation. This plan brings support to artists, inspiration to audiences, solace to communities, and new ideas to the sector.”

- Artistic Director Brendan Healy

In response to the challenges, impacts, and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Stage has established three streams of activities.


The first stream – INVEST – will see significant funds being made available to help theatre and dance makers pivot their artistic practice during the pandemic and beyond. This stream involves microgrants to support artist-led investigations into digital technologies, paid training for technicians and designers wishing to upgrade their digital skills, the acquisition of new technology, and commissions of new works.


The second stream - EXPLORE – provides more extensive support to rigorous investigations into new forms of live performance. Much like a laboratory, it sees artists putting new ideas into practice inside our institution. Among the initiatives are two robust Artist Residency Programs that place artists at the forefront of AI, augmented reality, and virtual reality and lengthy workshops of new works that push the experience of live performance into new realms.


The third stream - ENGAGE – brings unique live experiences to audiences. This stream involves outdoor performances, digital experiences, productions, online festivals, and public think tanks about the future of the performing arts.

Each of these streams are driven by three organizational priorities:

  1. Foster artistic INNOVATION through the embrace of new technologies and performance modalities.
  2. Advance access and INCLUSION through the dismantling of colonial practices and oppressive structures that perpetuate racism inside our sector and Canadian Stage and create barriers to BIPOC artists and audiences.
  3. Increase the social IMPACT of our work through the deepening of our community partnerships, the centering of artists in our decision-making (with emphasis on members from equity-seeking communities), and the welcoming of more co-creative models of collaboration.

To find out more about our overall approach to our programming and operations during the pandemic, please read our Guiding Principles.

To learn more about the steps Canadian Stage is taking to address systemic racism and inequity within the organization, please see our updated Black Lives Matter statement.