December 1, 2022
By Woodrow Kolomvos, Contributing Writer
For the Executive Artistic Director of The Rose Brampton, Steven Schipper, the art of theatre is important for our communities because as, “We laugh and cry together, we are always engaged and sometimes transformed, and slowly, one play at a time, we create a better, more loving and peaceful world.”
This Thursday, Bramptonians can now explore the talent behind the arts in the Downtown core through a one-of-a-kind guided backstage tour of the iconic Brampton Rose Theatre.
A hub for local and world-renowned performers, The Rose has provided Bramptonians with a place to gather, connect, and share in the extraordinary talent it hosts. The venue is known for a variety of programs and community partnerships to ensure that the stage is never empty, such as “The Rose Presents”, a year-round project that sees homegrown, local artists take the stage through multi-disciplinary productions of theatre, music, dance, comedy, family, and cultural events. The Rose has a long history of collaborating with local arts organizations, promoters, and producers to reflect the diversity of Brampton, and inspire audiences and performing artists alike.
In 1994, Inzola Construction would begin construction on an underground parking garage as part of The Queen’s Square Infrastructure Project. Construction wrapped up in 1997, and the underground parking garage would be known as Market Square Parking. For many years, the land on top of the parking garage remained empty. There were proposals for a mixed-use condo tower, however those were ultimately shot down due to engineers determining that the ground over the parking garage would not support the large structure. In April 2002, City Council agreed on building a new theatre as part of a revitalization of Brampton’s downtown core, naming the project “Market Square Theatre.”
Thus began the construction of one of the most vital parts of our city in 2003. Officially named The Rose Theatre Brampton, the venue opened its doors to the public in September 2006, with its first performance presented by Canadian stand-up comedian Russell Peters on the Rose Mainstage. The Rose also opened with a Grand Gala featuring award-winning jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall. Today, The Rose is considered one of the best performing arts venues in Canada.
Steven Schipper is quoted on The Rose Brampton’s website saying that, “At The Rose, audiences see themselves reflected on our stages, and artists see Brampton’s mosaic in our audience. Our programs and presentations reflect our commitments to artistic excellence, inclusivity, accessibility, and opportunity… The Rose Brampton is a beacon of entertainment to its residents, the GTA, and surrounding regions”, and just that can be seen through the theatre’s Performing Arts Division, where Brampton’s unique creative vibrancy is explored with community engagement and community-driven vision to foster a thriving arts sector. Such as the exciting “THIS IS BRAMPTON” series, where local talent takes over The Rose’s intimate Studio II to present performances of comedy, jazz, hip hop, rock, country, and R&B, from some of the city’s most influential artists and musicians.
During the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, The Rose continued to serve Brampton delivering the arts through a completely digital model. Known as “Live from The Rose”, shows were distributed to audiences through Vimeo, an online professional video platform. Keeping that connection to audiences alive, The Rose recognized the increased accessibility through digital performances, and so they continue to distribute free virtual performances and maintain an archive of these productions to be viewed at any time.
The opportunity to see behind the curtain of The Rose and gain insight into one of the best performing arts venues in Canada and trendsetter for the arts in Brampton is not something to be overlooked by residents, as the venue continues to be a vibrant, economic catalyst for the city and its artists.
You can attend “Field Trip: The Rose Theatre”, for free on Thursday, December 1st at 6:00 PM at The Rose Brampton. To reserve your spot, check out the events page.