Toronto, ON (May 9, 2023) – Tapestry Opera and Nightwood Theatre announced yesterday that they are developing a new home for the performing arts and are embarking on a capital campaign to fund its 1.5 million dollar completion and launch.

Tapestry and Nightwood are building a new collaborative space for the performing arts at 877 Yonge Street, following the two companies’ exit in 2022 from their former home at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery District. After being forced to leave a community built for 20 years from the ground up, the companies are embarking on the next chapter, where they are poised to create a new vibrant arts community and an innovative partnership with the affordable housing organization St. Clare’s. Just north of Yonge and Bloor, the new facility will be a bold step towards establishing the centre of Toronto as the next great destination for artists and audiences, and as an inspired space designed by Hilditch Architects to create new, vital Canadian works.

While Toronto experiences a drought of arts venues, Tapestry and Nightwood are creating a stable and exciting new arts complex in the heart of Toronto, close to public transit access. The new space includes a 6,500 square foot facility including a 2700 sq foot performance hall, rehearsal studio, greenroom and shared office spaces. The new facility will provide nearly three times the rehearsal and performance space than in their former studio in the Distillery District.

Arts are an integral part of a thriving community. This partnership with St. Clares, one of Canada’s largest private non-profit developers of new supportive and affordable housing, comes not only when artistic spaces and communities are fading but when housing in this city is in crisis.

“Following years of Toronto losing vital arts spaces, we are proud to announce the creation of a new facility in the heart of Toronto that is also easily accessible by public transportation,” notes Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Artistic and General Director. “This new space will provide affordable space not only for Tapestry Opera and Nightwood Theatre,” says Executive Director Jaime Martino, “but, just like our Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery, it will create low-cost, accessible space for the greater performing arts community in Toronto.”

Nightwood’s co-executives Andrea Donaldson, Artistic Director, and Naz Afsahi, Managing Director, added: “The energy and generosity that this new venture has attracted has been astonishing. We are so grateful to St. Clare’s and to the numerous individuals and partners who are making this (necessary) dream a reality. We see great benefit in sharing resources with not only each other as arts organizations but with another non-profit as a creative and exciting way forward in addressing the social needs of our city. We are very close to our goal and welcome those who want to support growing culture in Toronto to reach out!”

Tapestry Opera is an award-winning Toronto-based company dedicated to creating, developing and performing original Canadian opera. Tapestry is passionate about uniquely Canadian stories, told in innovative settings, unforgettably interpreted by world-class artists. Tapestry supports emerging artists, develops new audiences and brings Canadian opera to the world stage. Founded in 1979, Tapestry is the voice of original contemporary Canadian opera.  

As Canada’s foremost feminist theatre, Nightwood Theatre is driven by artistic excellence, advocacy, and the successful training and development of women and gender-expansive artists – this includes but is not limited to trans, cis, Two-Spirit and non-binary folks. Founded in 1979, Nightwood Theatre has created and produced award-winning plays, which have won Dora Mavor Moore, Chalmers, Trillium, and Governor General’s awards. To learn more about Nightwood Theatre, please visit nightwoodtheatre.net 


For more information, please get in touch with Victoria Laberge at victoria.laberge@gmail.com