Exploring archival research, performance practice, and oral history in the study of the Performance in Canada. 

Welcome to the Website for Gatherings—Archival and Oral Histories, a project initiated to serve the preservation and study of our performance histories. Our research project is funded in part through a Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, with the support of a number of academic institutions from across the country, and with the crucial participation of the Canadian Theatre Museum, Dance Collection Danse, and Playwrights Canada Press, all leaders in the preservation and dissemination of our performance heritage.

The Project has two main goals.

Gathering Together The first goal is to develop a partnership with the purpose of collecting, archiving, and disseminating the history of theatre and performance in the territories commonly referred to as Canada. Participants will support one another in pilot projects using archival research and interviews, paying particular attention to the documentary evidence and oral histories of Canadian theatre and performance. In the process we will compile an online set of guidelines, specific to the study of performance, that can be used by local and regional historians. Gathering Networks The second goal is to develop a network of other interested scholars, institutions, and collectives, in the process establishing a broader partnership serving the study of, and public education in Canadian performance.

Extending Definitions We hope, with this project, to help to encourage a more complete understanding of how performance pervades and informs the many cultures that share this country: performance in all regions of the country; performance of all genres and idioms; and performance by the broadest spectrum of participants. More information is available in our Partnership Description below, and through the examples contributed for our Pilot Projects.

On This Website Through the links provided below, you will find further information about our Partnership, including a description of the project, a list of our Co-Investigators, and links to our Partners. We have also initiated a Pilot Project, exploring the ways and means to best develop all aspects of the larger and longer-term project—archival and oral histories, access to related research projects and pertinent archival repositories, and the artistic practices that further explore the subject of performance. Partners, Investigators, Independent Scholars and Graduate Students continue to add to these first explorations, and we welcome those interested to contact us on how to become involved.

Gatherings — The Partnership Development Grant

The Gatherings Pilot Projects

Related Materials


Featured Exhibit

“Girl Guides of Canada” by Heather Fitzsimmons-Frey