Resident Companies

Arts Commons is the home of Calgary's most innovative artistic companies and is proud to present and promote creative collaboration within our city.

Our resident companies are far more than individual players on our creative stage; they’re family members under the same roof. We work together to bring the magic and inspiration of the arts to our city, our province, our country and the world.

Alberta Theatre Projects is a Calgary-based, not-for-profit, professional theatre company that celebrates the art of live theatre. From its home in The Martha Cohen Theatre at Arts Commons, the company produces world-calibre shows with a focus on idea-driven new works, plays by Canadian playwrights, and contemporary theatre from around the world. It is also a national leader in new play development and dramaturgy.

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This season, Arts Commons Presents brings you a lineup of fantastic artists and speakers from around the globe and close to home.

Get your subscription today to secure the best available seats at the best price! And if you’re new and looking for a taste of what we do, curate your own season with our Design Your Own (DYO) series - a great way for you to mix performances from our various series into a custom package while enjoying some of the benefits of subscribing.

Check out Arts Commons Presents this year – you won’t be disappointed!

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Downstage is a Calgary-based company dedicated to producing Canadian theatre that creates meaningful conversation around social issues. Our work provokes vibrant dialogue between Calgarians both informally and through our nightly post-show discussions. With a focus on new work created by local artists, we offer artistic experiences that are entertaining, inventive, thought-provoking and highly relevant to your everyday life.

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The Calgary Philharmonic celebrated 65 years as a pillar of Calgary’s vibrant arts community in 2020 and has grown to be one of Canada’s most celebrated live music ensembles. Led by Music Director Rune Bergmann, the Calgary Phil presents classical standards, pop favourites, bold collaborations, and cutting-edge new works, and attracts world-renowned guest artists and dynamic conductors. In a typical Season, the Orchestra welcomes over 100,000 visitors to the concert hall and reaches audiences around the world through its free and accessible digital programming and live-stream initiative — an immersive, online concert experience that launched in 2017.

Norwegian conductor Bergmann joined the Orchestra at the start of the 2017-18 Season. His elegant interpretations and reputation as an inspiring and profound musician continue to attract the attention of orchestras around the world. He is also the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland, Music Director of Switzerland’s Argovia Philharmonic, has been Artistic Director of Norway’s innovative Fjord Cadenza Festival since its inception in 2010. Maestro Bergmann entered this role with a prominent vision to showcase the Calgary Philharmonic on the world stage.

In 1985 the Calgary Philharmonic moved to its permanent home in Arts Commons’ Jack Singer Concert Hall, one of North America’s most acoustically acclaimed venues.
Follow the Calgary Philharmonic @calgaryphil on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and register for email updates at calgaryphil.com/newsletter.

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Once a punk rebel upstart troupe of ‘creatives’ – actors, writers, poets, jugglers, musicians and a dancer – on the cusp of a cultural renaissance that was Calgary.

Over 35 years OYR has shape-shifted into a cultural treasure that transcends the narrow geographical boundaries of city and nation.

More tenacious. More fearless than even in 1982 when we got this party started – One Yellow Rabbit is in the house. And we’re here to stay.

Actually, we’re taking over. We’re propagating – like the bunnies we are.

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MISSION

Theatre Calgary is a national stage that stimulates, provokes and delights with ambitious programming created to ignite local, national and international engagement.

HISTORY

Theatre Calgary traces its origins to the 1960s grassroots movement for local professional theatre. The company formed from the city’s two most prominent amateur theatre groups: Workshop 14 and the Musicians’ and Actors’ Club. Workshop 14 had been founded in 1944 by students of local theatre pioneer Betty Mitchell and took its name from Mitchell’s drama classroom at Western Canada High School. The Musicians’ and Actors’ Club (fondly known as MAC) began as a social club in 1963, with meetings held the basement bar of the derelict Isis movie house on 1st St SW, but members soon took to staging short plays and musical revues in the upstairs hall. Under the leadership of Kenneth Dyba, the two groups merged in 1966 as MAC 14. Then, on July 1st, 1968, MAC 14 became Theatre Calgary, the city’s first fully professional theatre company. Christopher Newton, who would later lead the Shaw Festival for more than two decades, was appointed Theatre Calgary’s first artistic director.

The new company performed in the Betty Mitchell Theatre at the Allied Arts Centre, a converted tractor showroom at 9th Ave and 8th St SW that later became known as the QR Centre. In its first two decades, Theatre Calgary presented a mix of classic and new plays, including premieres by Canadian writers such as John Murrell, W.O. Mitchell, and Sharon Pollock. In 1985, Theatre Calgary became the resident company of the Max Bell Theatre in the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts (now Arts Commons). In this striking performance space, both grand and intimate, the company dedicated itself to large-scale productions of classics, contemporary plays, and musicals.

Theatre Calgary has engaged in national and international collaborations with companies such as Soulpepper, the Shaw Festival, the National Arts Centre, and American Conservatory Theater. At the same time, Theatre Calgary’s FUSE Enbridge New Play Development Program has led directly to the world premieres of several new Canadian works on the Max Bell stage. The company has also deepened its commitment to Calgary’s theatre community, presenting an annual co-production in One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo and producing Shakespeare by the Bow, Calgary’s outdoor summer theatre festival starring emerging artists. As Theatre Calgary approaches its 50th anniversary, we aim to set a national standard for ambitious programming, passionate community engagement, and extraordinary productions.

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