Francophone Affairs Branch and French Education Branch
Government of Saskatchewan
It all started two years ago with a dream: the creation of a multi-user production centre for La Troupe du Jour, in Saskatoon, that could support all aspects of Francophone theatre—writing, rehearsals, costume and set production, etc. It was an ambitious dream—but the smallest Francophone minority community in Canada was able to turn it into reality.
Much effort and tenacity were needed to achieve such a goal. Fortunately, the project had many supporters: the three levels of government and several private donors were very generous. To help carry out this $1.986 million project, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada contributed $375,000 and $1.275 million, respectively. The remainder came from the City of Saskatoon and various individual and corporate donations.
Through this funding, La Troupe du Jour was able to begin construction in January 2010. As the year progressed, the dream took shape. Plans were carried out, and a fully equipped theatre production centre emerged, complete with large rehearsal rooms; a second set; a workshop for set and prop production; an area for wardrobe production with a professional sewing machine, fitting rooms, a washer, a dryer and a dyeing sink; a large hangar with huge doors for set building; and office space. What better way to celebrate La Troupe du Jour’s 25th anniversary!
Finally, in December 2010, residents of Saskatoon and members of the province’s French-speaking community attended the official opening of La Troupe du Jour’s multi-user production centre. Provincial Secretary Donna Harpauer took part in the event.
“La Troupe du Jour is an amazing ambassador for our province and the Francophone community and this new production centre will allow [the theatre company] to continue to promote Francophone culture within Saskatchewan,” said Ms. Harpauer. “We are proud to have worked with the federal government and our other partners on this project and together we will continue to make arts, culture and our Francophone community a priority.”
The production centre is a major achievement for Franco-Saskatchewanians, who now have their own facility to express their artistic potential. In addition to hosting La Troupe du Jour, the facility is accessible to both French and English community-based theatre and dance companies.
La Troupe du Jour currently presents five productions a year with English surtitles. It also holds a series of school, community and playwright workshops across the province.