Toronto’s arts community gathered virtually on January 21, 2021 to celebrate three years of remarkable work by five Toronto-based organizations which represent the fifth and final cohort of the Performing Arts Program’s Creative Strategies Incubator. In partnership with Toronto Fringe, the event was hosted at Next Stage Community Booster, a four-day event that featured performances from acclaimed artists, live-streamed conversations on urgent topics, online workshops that focus on mental and self-care, and more. Aluna Theatre, Canadian Opera Company, Le Théâtre français de Toronto, The Toronto Fringe, and Young People’s Theatre gave the audience a sneak-peak into their initiatives and outcomes – positive, unexpected, or otherwise – that emerged in response to their efforts to explore the potential of engaging audiences and building communities around their work.
Metcalf Foundation’s President and CEO Sandy Houston welcomes the audience and outlines the Foundation’s contribution to the performing arts community in Toronto through multi-year funding programs to pursue new strategic avenues to address challenges and opportunities. He describes how the Creative Strategies Incubator provided opportunities for organizations and community members to explore new practices and interrogate their own assumptions around audience engagement and community building.