Theatre Junction Society
Our Story Why We Exist
Theatre Junction has a new kind of vision. To be a different kind of arts centre. To evolve and expand its activities and be a place where our best artists in Calgary can develop and bring their work to the stage; where visual art, performance art and media like film and digital art create a hub of activity and exploration. To become a revitalized public space that increases its civic footprint, participates in the life of the city and creates a culture of innovation and learning through the arts.
That’s a tall order for a small theatre in Calgary. However, we know things need to change: in this age of technological isolation people are seeking new ways to connect, to be inspired and get in touch with their own creativity and help make Calgary a great city. Arts centres need to provide new meaning and broaden their scope to include not just the arts, but arts-based practices that contribute to the life of the city.
Theatre Junction is stepping up its role. This season, our 26th, reflects that. We have a new slate of programming, in addition to our season of live art: film, dance and visual art as well as new offerings of arts-based opportunities for leadership and personal development. We want to connect, bring people into the space and participate in events that are happening throughout the city. Be in service to the community and an active participant in it: opening our doors for Doors Open YYC, 10 Minute Plays for Jane’s Walk and Exposure photography festival were just a few things we did in our 2016/17 season and we will continue to expand on those.
Our award-winning high school mentorship program, TJLabs and our new program premiering in September, 2017, NEXT STAGE, creates a through line for artistic development and nurtures young artists to develop new work and present it to an audience. These programs alleviate the costs young companies face in Calgary: renting space, technical support and box office and marketing, allowing them to explore and create new work. Most importantly, it will foster a sense of belonging and an environment where artists can create and present work in Calgary.
And we need your help to do it. We need your help to become the culture house we aspire to be: one that brings a plethora of artistic events and experiences to the city, but incubates the next generation of artists in Calgary.
Our Impact What We Do
Our goal is to be an arts centre rooted in community, relevant and in service to the public and fostering the development of artists in Calgary.
Theatre Junction has three areas of focus:
- presenting new contemporary performance art
- nurturing and developing a new generation of artists
- shifting the idea of an arts centre to one that is holistic, where the community can come together to create and imagine a rich cultural fabric in Calgary.
Our mission describes our purpose and values as 4-Cs:
- a CONTAINER – providing physical, emotional and psychological space – for creation and artistic risk
- a CONVENER – eliciting purpose and bringing people together – to develop our local artists
- a CONNECTOR – connecting people and ideas – this is at the heart of artistic presentation
- a CATALYST – promoting awareness, response and action –encouraging initiatives that aim to nurture local talent and create a more sustainable and vibrant arts ecology.
Our season of live art tests the boundaries of traditional theatre and performance and challenges patrons to experience new and exciting ways of telling a story. The shows we present often use text, music, dance and physicality to immerse the audience in a collective experience. These are shows you won't see anywhere else, and sometimes not even elsewhere in Canada.
We believe that a successful city has a vibrant and rich arts culture, where people can engage in multiple offerings and disciplines. It is also a place where artists can live, and create and perform work. Artists face many barriers to living a successful life in Calgary and we aim to reduce those barriers by offering programs and activities that are free for artists to develop their work over time. Mentorship, TJLabs, Next Stage and our Jane's Walk event, 10 Minute Plays for Jane's Walk are just a few of the opportunities we provide to artists throughout the year.
In order for arts centres like Theatre Junction to evolve and remain relevant to their audience, and to artists, we are shifting our vision from one that is primarily inwardly focused, to one that is rooted in Community. Developing programs that bring artists, students, members of the public and corporate communitiy together to learn and develop their creativity through arts-based practices creates a richer fabric and deeper cultural connection. Participating in Jane's Walk events through 10 Minute Plays, hosting open space gatherings for artists and arts centres to talk about how to support arts culture in Calgary and looking at themes like prosperity through an arts lens are ways we will be relevant to the Calgary community.
Our Programs How We Do It
Theatre Junction, in addition to presenting a season of contemporary performance theatre in a variety of genres from Calgary, across Canada and internationally, has a vision for building a rich, local arts culture. Our goal is to grow the next generation of artists in the city by providing access to studio space, performance space, dramaturgy, technical support and box office/marketing/administrative support. We've discovered these barriers inhibit creation, so by removing them we allow artists to explore and take risks with their work. We do this through many different programs and offerings:
High School Mentorship - accredited by the Calgary Board of Education, 15-20 high school students have the opportunity to research, develop and present a play they develop with the support of a local playwright and Theatre Junction Associate Artist. This two-year program develops personal and interpersonal skills, grows confidence and provides students the opportunity to develop theatre skills. At the end of the two years, the students present their work on our main stage, the Flanagan Theatre. Our current playwright in residence is award winning playwright Geoffrey Simon Brown.
TJLabs - helping artists and emerging collectives explore new work and get it ready to present to an audience is the goal of TJLAbs. Three phases of this program, incubation, discovery and help artists develop their work. We provide free studio time, technical support, dramaturgy and help with marketing/promotion.
Masterclasses - having the opportunity to work with a professional and glean insight from their style, experience and methods are the goalsl of Masterclasses. Visiting artists provide a day-long workshop with interested professionals in our studio. Masterclasses are free.
Next Stage - our newest program, offered in the 2017/18 season. Four new or mid-career artists/companies will receive free studio time, tech support and have the opportunity to present their work to an audience. This program removes barriers most artists face in presenting live art in Calgary: affordable space, professional technical support and marketing. Next Stage provides all of this, and shares box office revenue with the artists to sustain the program.
Our Requests What You Can Do
By donating to Theatre Junction, donors will:
- support the development and nurturing of new and emerging artists in Calgary, fostering a rich cultural vibrancy in the city.
- support a multidisciplinary program of live art, visual art, music and film. We believe in paying artists for their work, which can be challenging for a charity however to be true supporters of an emerging arts scene, we value the work of our local artists. For example, artists who participated in 10 Minute Plays for Jane's Walk were paid an honorariam. As were artists who performed at, or created work for our fundraising event, La Nuit Sauvage.
- be a catalyst for personal and professional development opportunities, using movement, dance and arts-based practices that build leadership and personal skills.
- help sustain Calgary's oldest theatre.
- help bring new, contemporary and multidisciplinary work from Calgary, across Canada and beyond to local audiences. It's the chance to see work you won't see anywhere else.
- We are hoping potential sponsors and donors will support our programming and help us foster and nurture a rich arts culture in Calgary. Our High School Mentorship, TJLabs and Next Stage programs are all excellent opportunities for corproate sponsorship and recognition. In addition, our season of live performance welcomes support for shows, or as a marquee season sponsor.