About Us


Our Mission

The Young Centre for the Performing Arts was envisioned by George Brown College and Soulpepper Theatre Company to be a home to the entire Toronto arts community. Anchored by the presence of Soulpepper’s year-round classical repertory and George Brown College’s Theatre School, the Young Centre provides a home for the leading artists and arts organizations of our city across all performance disciplines, while making a major investment in the future of our community.

In the fall of 2008, the Young Centre launched an exciting slate of programming involving four major streams of activity: Festivals, Presentations, Incubation and Outreach. With artistic programming lead by 12 remarkable Resident Artists, the Young Centre will be bursting at its seams with music, theatre, dance and spoken word – and all the collaborative possibilities in between.

We hope that you will come down to the Distillery District to experience with us this exciting new programming. Visit our production calendar for more details – and bookmark the page!

Yours,

Albert Schultz
Albert Schultz
General Director

Take a video tour of the Young Centre with General Director Albert Schultz
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  • Our Beginnings
  • Founding Partners
  • Awards

Founding Story

In December of 2000 Paul Carder, then the Dean of Business and Creative Arts at George Brown College, approached Albert Schultz, the Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company, with the suggestion that partnership be struck between Soulpepper and the George Brown Theatre School.

The vision of this partnership was to create a performing arts, education and community outreach facility that would be home to George Brown Theatre School's celebrated three-year professional actor training program; Soulpepper Theatre Company with its three-tiered mandate of performance, artist training and youth outreach; and Toronto¹s independent arts community. This facility, in which the performance and education of all performing disciplines would be undertaken, would be unique in the world.

The shared dream became a reality in 2003, when David Young through the Michael Young Family Foundation contributed a lead gift of $3 million. Shortly thereafter, Ontario’s Ministry of Culture and federal government through the Department of Heritage Cultural Spaces Program brought an additional 2.6 million. George Brown College and Soulpepper Theatre undertook separate capital campaigns to fund their respective shares in the project.

The architectural firm of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects created an award-winning design for the facility, which now houses four flexible performance venues, an artist garden, four studios, classrooms and supporting production and administrative spaces. At the centre of the building is a soaring public area, which includes a Café/Bar and the William Hutt reference library.

On January 15, 2006 the Young Centre for the Performing Arts officially opened to the public. Since that time more than 250,000 people have attended performances here.

George Brown Theatre School
www.georgebrown.ca/theatre

Soulpepper Theatre Company
www.soulpepper.ca

2007 USITT Architecture Honor Award
2007 Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence
2007 Business Week/Architectural Record Award
2007 Wood Design Award
2006 Canadian Interiors Best of Canada, Project Winner

"Located in the Distillery District, this is adaptive reuse at its most inventive and brilliant. Designed for maximum flexibility, it manages to be comfortable and exciting at the same time."

- "A Banner Year for Building: Ten Projects that changed Toronto in 2006", December 30, 2006 | Christopher Hume, The Toronto Star

"Some of the best of 2006 are subtle. The…Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Gooderham & Worts Distillery District demonstrates that good architecture on smallish budgets is possible without obvious comprises. I was struck by the youthful, hip nature of the theatre without any sense of trying to be trendy that KPMB Architects delivered."

- "Best New Buildings of 2006", December 20, 2006 | Kelvin Browne, National Post

"...Three buildings, all of them by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, amazed me this year: the Young Centre for Performing Arts, the Gardiner Museum and Canada's National Ballet School. All three express a joyous belief in the city."

- " Top 10 of 2006: KPMB" - KPMB selected by The Globe and Mail as Architects of the Year" Lisa Rochon, The Globe & Mail December 19, 2006