Our History

The Firehall Theatre Society

The Firehall first opened ins doors February 25, 1982 with a performance by Axis Theatre, who managed the theatre at that time.  The Firehall Theatre Society was incorporated in 1983 and in 1985 established itself as one of the first theatre companies to incorporate aboriginal and culturally diverse artists within its practice.

The company is committed to operating an arts centre in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood, to ensuring residents have access to professional artistic experiences and that local community arts projects also benefit from the use of our play development skills, our technical and production resources, and our studio and performance space.

The building the Firehall calls home was built in 1906 and acted as Vancouver’s first fire station until the mid 1970s.  Located in the historic heart of the city, the Firehall strives to produce and present work that highlights and supports Canada’s multiculturalism. As the first company focusing on Canadian work with this intent, the Firehall broke through social barriers and helped playwrights, actors, dancers, performers and producers of various cultural backgrounds present work to audiences across the country.

Over the past 30 years, led by Artistic Producer Donna Spencer, the Firehall Theatre Society has evolved into one of Canada’s most well respected cultural hubs.

With her interest in contemporary dance, Spencer also spearheaded the Dancing on the Edge Festival, which has grown to become Canada’s longest running dance festival, and became its own society in 1988.