Bloorcourt-area residents are getting an early Christmas gift this year and it comes in the form of local theatre.
The Red One Theatre has staked its claim on a storefront at 955 Bloor St. W., near Ossington Avenue. But in typical fashion, the collective is launching Dec. 22 with the aim of bringing new life to the neighbourhood through the power of art, culture and community.
“The community is really amazing,” said spokesperson Stacey-Lee Turner. “It’s got so much potential.”
The space had sat empty for a long time – until a founding member of the collective, Benjamin Blais, who lives in the area, came across the storefront and was inspired.
“He thought it’d be a great place for a theatre so we arranged to take temporary occupancy for two months,” said Turner. “It’ll act as an artist venue.”
Anyone can approach the collective with an idea for a music event, show or lecture – “anything, really,” said Lee. “It’ll be open and accessible to the public.”
It will be run by founding members of the collective Blais and Tyrone Savage, whose credits include the Stratford Theatre Festival, as well as Kelly Read, associate technical director for Soulpepper Theatre and Turner, who is assistant curator at the Campbell House Museum.
The StoreFront Theatre promises to be a multi-disciplinary cultural hub throughout the early months of 2013. A launch event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 22, in association with the Bloorcourt Business Improvement Area (BIA).
The Winter Wonderland and Pop-Up Market will feature local vendors and one-of-a-kind goods, music and entertainment throughout the day.
In the evening, the Storefront Theatre presents classic cinema during which there will be hot cocoa and photos with Santa Claus. The Red One Theatre will be making an announcement about its flagship production in the New Year during the launch.
“If it’s successful, we’ll extend our occupancy,” said Turner. “What we really want to do is be a part of the community. We want to be a representation of what an amazing community it can be.”
Visit The StoreFront Theatre, 955 Bloor St. W. on Dec. 22 from noon to 6 p.m. for the Pop-up Winter Wonderland. Movie screenings begin at 7 and 9 p.m.