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Creating inclusive experiences through art, together

May 10, 2023 | Giving and sponsorships

Soulpepper is an artist-driven theatre company based in Toronto committed to creating and telling vital stories that bring us together, resonate across time and place, raise necessary questions, and inspire us to imagine and work towards a better, more inclusive world.

Founded by 12 artists in 1998, Soulpepper launched with a two-production summer season at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. The Company’s ensemble approach to artistic rigor garnered enthusiastic response from audiences, artists and critics alike, and has since grown into one of Toronto’s largest not-for-profit theatre companies with a year-round season of theatrical plays, concerts, cabarets, and educational programming – stimulating the local theatrical and cultural scenes as well as a thriving economy. 

BMO is a proud supporter of New Play Development at Soulpepper, helping to commission, develop and produce several world premieres each year, ensuring that the stories which connect us and are vital to our understanding, compassion and knowledge, and drive progress toward social change can be told. 

“Soulpepper creates powerful and transformational experiences through art. Thanks to BMO’s generous support, we have twelve new creative works in development right now, giving artists an opportunity to follow their most ambitious artistic dreams, and presenting new stories and perspectives to audiences.”

– Weyni Mengesha
Artistic Director, Soulpepper Theatre Company 

As well as producing the work of diverse visionary artists, Soulpepper offers a host of ancillary programs that nurture and develop the creativity of everyone who wishes to engage with the theatrical, musical, and performing arts; removing barriers to these opportunities because they believe that the arts are for everyone, and they know that creative expression is a vital part of individual and community life. 

“We’re incredibly proud to be supporting such important work – at such an important time, Marketing at BMO Financial Group and Soulpepper board member. Removing barriers to inclusion for a better society is core to our Purpose at BMO and supporting Soulpepper’s Six Women Writing program which commissions female Canadian playwrights to create new works for their Mainstage is a prime example of how we Grow the Good in our communities.” 

– Maja Neable
Chief Marketing Officer, Personal and Business Banking and Chief Data & Analytics Officer, BMO

This past year, BMO’s support of Soulpepper’s Six Women Writing program has seen the premier of Queen Goneril by Erin Shields, as well as the development of The Sandra Caldwell Cabaret by Sandra Caldwell, Wildwoman by Kat Sandler, Falen Johnson’s Welcome to My Home, and Table for Two by Soulpepper Academy graduate Akosua Amo-Adem. 

Through BMO’s support, Soulpepper has been able to successfully shift the stories they tell to better represent Canada’s diversity, elevate underrepresented voices, and reach new audiences. They are also reimagining their facility as a radically inclusive creative hub, offering a multitude of creative experiences to everyone. 

Soulpepper is becoming a future-proofed organization that builds social capital in our community with and beyond the work on their stages. They are reaching new communities through the transformational power of art and creating an inclusive company – a place of belonging for everyone – regardless of class, race, language, or ability.  

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