Staging Change | Toronto

An adaptive capacity building program for performing arts organizations in Toronto, Ontario

The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation and EmcArts proudly announce the launch of Staging Change, a multi-year strategic investment program geared to strengthen Toronto's performing arts organizations by promoting adaptive change efforts.

Staging Change is designed as the next iteration of Metcalf's Creative Strategies Incubator program and will incorporate key elements of the New Pathways program model developed by EmcArts. This model celebrates and advances organizational innovations as responses to complex challenges during times of rapid change in the nonprofit arts sector.
Read an interview with EmcArts President Richard Evans about the new program here!

Staging Change will ground a cohort of Toronto-based performing arts organizations, aimed at strengthening their adaptive capacity and resilience. The program is designed to welcome organizations over four stages, with opportunities to stimulate new thinking and action through interactive workshops, coaching, individual organizational facilitation, and tiered capital investment. Funding will be staged, beginning with small participation grants ($3,000) and, if an organization is successful through all four stages, culminating in substantial scaling grants of up to $75,000 a year for two years.

In addition to launching Staging Change, we are also introducing an accompanying Associate Facilitator Training Initiative. Led by EmcArts' process facilitation team, this program will engage Toronto's facilitators to build a robust community of practitioners. Focused on a facilitation toolbox for complexity and adaptive change, this will be an opportunity to both enhance facilitative skills and actively observe other program components of Staging Change. Participating also confirms eligibility to be hired as a lead facilitator in the Incubating Innovation process.  

Metcalf is extremely pleased to be working alongside EmcArts to support and incent bold new ideas that will have long-lasting impact on our grantees. Art making and connecting it to the public in meaningful ways in the 21st Century requires a new set of capacities that will push the status quo and re-invigorate our visions. Staging Change will do just that.

Michael Trent, Performing Arts Director, Metcalf Foundation
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Program Components

  • A series of six linked half-day workshops with leadership teams from up to 15 performing arts organizations
  • On-site Coaching for up to 10 organizations, accompanied by $5,000 experimentation grants
  • Incubating Innovation: A year-long "deep dive" process for up to 5 organizations to incubate a specific, larger-scale innovation initiative, supported by $25,000 prototyping grants
  • Training for local facilitators with the opportunity to work as a lead facilitator in the Incubating Innovation process
Staging Change Participating Organizations

Business for the Arts
Coal Mine Theatre
Harbourfront Centre
The National Ballet of Canada
Nova Dance
Pratibha Arts
ProArteDanza Performance Inc.
Roseneath Theatre
The School of Toronto Dance Theatre
Studio 180 Theatre
Tapestry Opera
The Theatre Centre
Theatre Direct

Associate Facilitators

Sue Balint
Karen Gilodo
Kristina Lemieux
Jeanne LeSage
Shannon Litzenberger
Allen MacInnis
Alicia Payne
Michael Prosserman
Pru Robey
The mission of The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation is to enhance the effectiveness of people and organizations working together to help Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy, and creative society. The foundation creates meaningful change by leveraging opportunities for new approaches and shared learning in the performing arts; building a low-carbon, resource efficient, and resilient Canada; and improving economic livelihoods for low-income people in Toronto.