For Immediate Release
New Theatre Health and Safety Website Launched by Theatre Ontario

With financial support from The Ontario Trillium Foundation over three years (2001-2004), Theatre Ontario created a bold new initiative called To Act in Safety that delivers health and safety training to people at every stage of their theatre career and offers practical and accessible tools, and best practices that can be freely shared in cultural organizations all over Ontario.

Theatre Ontario’s new health and safety website offers all of these resources free of charge at Resources available on the website include: Suggested Health and Safety Commitment Policy; Theatre Manager's Guide to the Ontario Building Code; Accident Reports; Emergency Evacuation Planning For Your Theatre; Best Practices for Lighting, Sound and various Shops; Using Pyrotechnics On Stage; WHMIS training tools; and a number of resources suitable for high school teachers.

Also, through the To Act In Safety program, Theatre Ontario has:

Completed extensive surveys examining the health and safety practices and policies of theatres all over Ontario - professional theatres, amateur theatres, municipal theatres, theatre training institutions and touring facilities.
Delivered first aid training to over 380 theatre volunteers and theatre workers in 20 communities around Ontario.
Worked with a team of health and safety theatre consultants to visit over 100 theatres in over 50 cities and towns in Ontario to deliver training and help create and implement health and safety policies and procedures specific to their theatre’s needs.
Worked with over 800 people in one-on-one health and safety audits and health and safety policy development at theatres around Ontario and offered specialized training in WHMIS, fall protection, operation of lifts or firearms/pyrotechnics use.
Collected a library of resources in health and safety specific to theatre that is available to the general public at Theatre Ontario’s Toronto offices.
Developed new health and safety resources which are available free of charge from their new health and safety website
Created new health and safety training resources that offer an easy-to-understand summary of a theatre’s liability and risk issues, best practices and checklists that make health and safety practices easy to implement.
Worked with Humber College’s Arts Administration/Cultural Management program to develop a new continuing education course, Health and Safety in the Arts.
Organized a network of theatres with knowledgeable leaders and consultants available to work with theatres on health and safety issues in the future.

Theatres all over Ontario have been generous in sharing their best practices and excellent resources in order to help other theatres improve their health and safety practices. Special thanks to Brock Centre for the Arts, Centrepointe Theatre, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, CAPACOA, CCI - Ontario’s Presenting Network, CITT, Drayton Entertainment, Markham Theatre for Performing Arts, National Arts Centre, Newmarket Theatre, Odyssey Theatre, ORSAC, Ontario Service Safety Alliance, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Port Stanley Festival Theatre, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival and Toronto Theatre Alliance for sharing their resources and offering training opportunities for their members.

Theatre Ontario gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, receives annually $100 million of government funding generated through Ontario's charity casino initiative. The Foundation provides grants to eligible charitable and not-for-profit organizations in the arts, culture, sports, recreation, environment and social service sectors.

Special thanks to our steering committee for their guidance throughout the project: Theatre Ontario’s Community Theatre Committee, Josephine Hall at St. John Ambulance, Association of Summer Theatres ‘Round Ontario (ASTRO), Ontario Service Safety Alliance, Ontario Advisory Committee for Health and Safety in Live Performance, and Janet Sellery, Health and Safety Manager at the Stratford Festival.

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John Watson
Communications and
Membership Coordinator

Theatre Ontario
215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 210
Toronto ON M5T 2C7
phone: 416-408-4556
fax: 416-408-3402
[email protected]