Stage Door News

Toronto: Canada’s Theatre Museum announces it will have a new home

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Canada’s Theatre Museum announced today that it will have a new home located in the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre beginning this Fall. In addition, Colm Feore has signed on as honorary patron for Canada’s Theatre Museum.

“This journey was started by theatre critic Herbie Whittaker and has had many chapters and champions including Kate Barris, Marlene Smith, Nona Macdonald Heaslip and long-time Patron, Christopher Plummer.” says Brian Robertson, Theatre Museum Board President “We have to thank the Ontario Heritage Trust CEO Beth Hanna, and the senior staff for their enthusiasm and support in making this happen.”

“I am very pleased that Theatre Museum Canada has found its new home at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre”, said Beth Hanna, CEO of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “We are excited to see the TMC’s innovative programming on the history and art of theatre that will enrich the experience of our visitors and audiences.”

“Museums are pillars in our communities. They tell our stories and allow people of all ages to discover and enjoy our rich heritage,” says Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “This investment that we are making in Canada’s Theatre Museum is supporting the design and planning of the Museum at The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, their new home, which will allow even more people to come together and enjoy our culture and history.”

The museum is in the planning stages of a $5 Million Campaign that will provide capital, museum start-up and operating funding, and create a solid financial future by building on the endowment and sustaining funds.

Executive Director Michael Wallace explains “planning and design work is underway with Toronto-based international multidisciplinary design firm Reich&Petch. This exciting new museum will be an integral part of Canada’s theatre community, past, present and future with space for dynamic exhibits, presentations and educational programming.”

To date, the museum’s sustaining funds have received gifts from Ron Braden, the Family of Herbert Whittaker, the Estate of Paul LaPointe, and the Canadian Council for Canadian American Relations (CCAR) gala honouring Christopher Plummer. Nona Macdonald Heaslip and Sheila Croft have supported pre-construction design work. The museum gratefully acknowledges the $54,300 in funding from the Government of Canada through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF).

“Investing in the creative arts is an important piece of building vibrant communities, which is why I’m excited to welcome Canada’s Theatre Museum to its new location,” says Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre. “Toronto is home to some of the world’s best entertainers, and it is important that we remember our creative history—as it paves the way for more stories to be told in the future.”


Founded in 1990 by a dedicated group of theatre professionals chaired by theatre critic Herbert Whittaker, Canada’s Theatre Museum invites the world to explore and be inspired by the past, present and future of Canadian theatre.

Without a venue of their own, past activities included pop-up exhibits at the Toronto Reference Library, CNE, and Hart House Theatre’s Macdonald Heaslip Walkway of Theatre History.

Its most popular initiative is the LEGEND LIBRARY online oral history project with R.H. Thomson and Andrew Moodie interviewing pioneers of Theatre, including Gordon Pinsent, Peter Herrndorf, Martha Henry, Mavor Moore, Brad Fraser, Vera Cudjoe, Paul Thompson, Tantoo Cardinal, Philip Akin and Christopher Plummer. There are over 60 interviews now online.

The in-person public educational events, THEATRE MUSEUM GOES BACKSTAGE, includes talks, walks and film screenings exploring topics like The Roots Of Native Theatre, The Role Of The Stage Manager, Canadian Players’ 1961 Arctic King Lear, and the life of Christopher Plummer.

Thanks to online initiatives found at, the museum reached and inspired over 264,941 viewers from 186 countries in the last five years.


The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre is owned and operated by the Ontario Heritage Trust and is a National Historic Site. Built in 1913, today it is the last operating vaudeville-era stacked theatre in the world.