Soulpepper Theatre Company will receive $1.5 million over four years to create a permanent touring repertory theatre. The touring theatre will create approximately 100 new jobs for theatre professionals, grow local theatre audiences, and boost tourism revenue and economic activity related to live theatre, according to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Soulpepper will also share knowledge and skills with the local communities it visits through training workshops and youth outreach.
The government says this support for the arts and culture sector is part of its plan “to build Ontario up.” The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, investment in public infrastructure, and “creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.”
“We are very thankful to the Government of Ontario for this generous support and proud that the province has chosen to invest in Soulpepper in this way,” says Albert Schultz, Artistic Director, Soulpepper. “This project will allow Soulpepper to share its work with communities large and small across Ontario. Over the next four years, we will lay the foundation for a robust touring network that will spell more employment for local artists and new opportunities to connect with audiences and partners across the province.”
The culture sector generates approximately $22 billion of Ontario’s GDP and supports more than 280,000 jobs.
Ontario is home to more than 58,000 artists, almost twice as many as any other province in Canada.
On average, arts and culture overnight tourists spend $522 per trip in Ontario, which is $232 more than a typical overnight tourist.
Soulpepper is Toronto’s largest theatre, employing over 225 diverse artists. The theatre attracts an audience of over 130,000 people each year.