We have been a home for Calgary’s arts community providing affordable performance space and youth drama education for 48 years. Since March 16 we have lost significant rental revenue due to event cancellations. This revenue would pay salaries to our small staff, utilities and help fund our youth education programs. We would like assistance to replace enough revenue to keep our staff working, the lights/heat on in our facility and buy equipment to take our education program online.
In the early 1970’s, there were few venues for Calgarians to produce performing arts events in the city: Theatre Calgary had only just started its professional operations in 1968, the Calgary Allied Arts Centre (Calgary’s community arts building) closed its doors in 1969, and the downtown Arts Commons wouldn’t open its doors until 1985. The sentiment across the country was that Canadians needed to tell our own stories: these stories needed to reflect our own issues and feature our own homegrown talent. Mrs. Joyce Doolittle recognized that there were so few adequate and affordable spaces to do this in Calgary, and in 1971 she saw the potential in the derelict No. 2 water pumping station-turned City of Calgary storage facility as a community performing arts space.
After successful negotiations with the Minister of Culture and the City of Calgary, the Pumphouse was leased to the Calgary Youth Drama Society (later renamed Pumphouse Theatres Society) in 1972 to operate the Pumphouse Theatre facility. The purpose was to provide Calgarians an affordable place to present cultural works. This has made a lasting positive impact on Calgary theatre: for over 40 years, the Pumphouse Theatre has helped tens of thousands of artists, over a million patrons, and tens of thousands of youth participate in the arts. The Pumphouse Theatre continues to be a vibrant arts hub where tens thousands of Calgarians come to experience any of the 50+ events (600+ individual performances) or productions and where hundreds of Calgary’s youth have experienced high quality drama education annually.
The Pumphouse Theatre is committed not only to providing a high-quality venue for the arts but also to keeping that venue affordable for Calgary’s arts community. In order to keep costs manageable, especially for smaller groups and newcomers, rental rates for non-profit arts organizations are heavily subsidized.
OUR MISSION is to enrich the cultural life of our community through the provision of affordable, accessible, facilities, learning opportunities for youth, and a diversity of programming. We achieve our mission through the following programs: Theatre Rentals, Drama Education Program, Pumphouse Theatre Productions, Lobby Art Gallery, and Pumphouse Theatre Playbill.
OUR VISION: The Pumphouse Theatre is a vibrant facility with historical significance supporting and presenting all art forms; and creating opportunities for engagement, enrichment, cultural experience, learning and inspiration serving all Calgarians
OUR VALUES: We embrace the vision engendered by the entrepreneurial spirit of our founders. That spirit is sustained through the long-term working relationships with our local community partners, supporters, clients and patrons.
Drama classes and camps – learn more here.
Rental Service – learn more here
The Pumphouse Theatres Society is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency – Charities Directorate (B/N 11910 6292 RR0001). Charitable Tax receipts are issued for donations in accordance with CRA regulations.
The Pumphouse Theatre is an arts hub and arts incubator where tens of thousands of people each year come through our doors and have unforgettable experiences and many emerging and professional artists have opportunity to demonstrate or develop their craft. Since 1972, The Pumphouse Theatre has provided heavily subsidized and high-quality rental services to performing arts groups in Calgary. In addition, we have been operating Drama Day Camps for youth for over 30 years.
Please Consider Supporting the Pumphouse Theatre Society
Volunteer for PTS – We have a number of volunteer opportunities throughout the year and we’d love your help. Please fill out this form and we will be in contact with you about the next volunteer opportunity!
Individual Donations – We accept donations online, by phone, mail or in person. Online donations can go through: