On November 27th, 2012, Toronto City Council refocused the TCA’s mandate on community cultural programming. In the past, the theatre facility has been home to large commercial producers whose long running shows had limited community use. Since those limits have been lifted, with no large-scale users waiting in the wings, it only made sense to give new life to this superb facility by offering greater community access. Incidentally, it is the only professional quality performing arts facility serving the 6 to 700,000 Torontonians north of Bloor Street. The north Toronto community, made up of many ethnic neighbourhoods and a growing “vertical” condo community, has long needed more space to develop and showcase talent.
NetGain has advised the TCA at critical junctures in its history for more than a decade. In 2012, it helped the Centre craft a response to the City’s offer to sell or lease Toronto’s civic theatres, including the TCA. In 2013, NetGain worked to complete a strategic plan that anchored a renewable, five-year operating agreement, with the City – a first in the TCA’s history.
NetGain’s research on community demand for cultural spaces in the north Toronto led to the conversion of the 1,800 seat Main Stage theatre into two smaller venues, the Greenwin and the Lyric.
Once again, we are pleased to be of service to its management, Board, the City–and ultimately the community’s users. By determining the best strategy for the fulfillment of their refocused mandate, we facilitated the process of making the TCA into a much needed community arts hub for an underserved part of the Toronto.