This page details the accessibility initiatives implemented within the our most recent SummerWorks Performance Festival in August 2023, and it is intended to provide you with a snapshot of our commitment to accessibility in action.
If you have any general questions about accessibility at SummerWorks, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the overall accessibility measures available to you, throughout the 2023 SummerWorks Performance Festival.
Video produced by Deaf Spectrum. Signer: Alice Lo.
With generous support from the Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation, the Accessibility & Community Wellness Program is a new initiative that builds on SummerWorks’ ongoing work as an organization, to cultivate progressive practices that foster greater diversity, accessibility, equity, and sustainability across the performance arts sector. It was developed in response to the emergent and urgent needs of the creative communities that engage with the organization. This Program encompasses a diverse range of activities across all operations that prioritize increased access and mental health supports for artists, staff, and the local communities of Parkdale and Regent Park, where the annual SummerWorks Performance Festival takes place, with the goal of facilitating necessary cultural shifts around mental health, homelessness, and accessibility in society.
The major public component of the Accessibility & Community Wellness Program is SummerWorks engagement with The Switch Collective, a group of interdisciplinary Queer, Trans, Two Spirit, and BIPOC artists and community organizers who are deeply committed to weaving together artistic practice and activism. The Switch Collective will revisit the resonant themes, politics and content from their memorable 2022 production of Switching Queen(s) in an artful healing arts gathering called Switching Queen(s) Reprised: After Care for Frontline Hearts.
SummerWorks is grateful to the Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation for allowing us to continue this important work and create a lasting impact in our communities.
ASL interpretation will be offered for the speeches and live performances at our Opening Night Celebration and Closing Weekend Party, TRUCK (staged reading and post-show Q+A), and for Switch Collective’s Switching Queen(s) Reprised: After Care for Frontline Hearts. There will be Front-of-House ASL interpretation provided for all performances of Lady M (Margaret).
To view ASL show dates and times, please visit the individual Project Pages.
Audio Described Performances offer a companion piece to patrons who are Blind or Low Vision, outlining the events happening onstage – including relevant sets, costumes and non-verbal actions.
Open Audio Description is when the audio Describer speaks the description so that everyone in the audience can hear it. Closed Audio Description is done over receivers so that only those choosing to listen to the audio description will hear it.
Open Audio Description will be offered at the following event:
Wednesday, August 9th / 8:30pm – i am your spaniel, or, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare by Gislina Patterson
Look for this symbol to see which events and shows offer Audio Description.
Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members who will benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environment, including (but not limited to) patrons with an Autism Spectrum Condition, a sensory processing disorder, or a learning disability. There is a more relaxed approach to noise and movement within the theatre space; house lights will remain on at a low level and some minor production changes may be made to reduce the intensity of light, sound and other startling effects.
These shows are for anyone. Many other people may choose to attend a relaxed performance, either as an access requirement or because they like the inclusive environment.
Relaxed Performances are offered at the following events:
Saturday, August 5th / 2:00pm – DOUBLE
Saturday, August 12th / 4:00pm – i am your spaniel, or, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare by Gislina Patterson
Look for this Relaxed Performance symbol to see which shows offer a Relaxed Performance option.
All of our venues have accessible entrances and washrooms, with the exception of the venue for The Dinner Party.
Hello 123 is not a fully-accessible venue. It is a local restaurant, with available event seating indoors/outdoors. The interior space is accessed by two stairs, while the washrooms are only accessible by stairs to the basement level.
Our three main performance venues have accessible lifts to our Festival spaces.
Our outdoor venues, mostly situated in public parks and adjacent to farmers’ markets, have accessible washrooms close by, in nearby buildings onsite.
Where possible, we have indicated ideal Wheel-Trans pick-up and drop-off locations in each venue’s Visual Story below.
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a personal support person will be permitted to have that person accompany them. Admission fees will not be charged for personal support persons at SummerWorks venues. Please indicate whether you will be accompanied by a personal support person when you purchase your ticket and when you arrive at the venue.
We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed in the parts of our venues that are open to the public.
All three main performance venues (The Theatre Centre, The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, and Daniels Spectrum) have All-Gender washrooms available to the public.
All outdoor venues are primarily serviced by public washrooms maintained by the City of Toronto, and they are not designated as All-Gender.
Some performances require audiences to move short distances within a group. All performances will be accompanied by a Front-of-House assistant or volunteer who will be able to assist you, if required. Chairs or stools will be available, so please make yourself known to a team member or volunteer, if this would be helpful to you.
SummerWorks offers location-specific visual stories for our three main performance venues, to help you plan your experience. These visual stories are PDFs that you can download to your laptop or mobile device. Visual stories are updated annually to reflect changes to the spaces and programming.