TfT OVER TIME
Théâtre français de Toronto was founded in 1967 under the name Théâtre du P’tit Bonheur, title of its first production.
In 1970, under the direction of John Van Burek, TfT establishes a continuing relationship with playwright Michel Tremblay.
In 1989, Ghislain Caron begins his career at TfT as a ticket office manager and an assistant to the administration before taking the role of Managing Director in 1999, a position that he still holds today.
In 1992-1993, under the direction of Diana Leblanc, TfT achieves a record season with eight nominations to the Dora Awards.
For TfT’s 30th anniversary season, Guy Mignault takes the helm as the Artistic Director. TfT reinstates its programming for children and creates a playwright-in-residence program.
Guy Mignault’s first musical creation, C’était un p’tit Bonheur wins a Dora Award in 1998.
In the fall of 2004, TfT launches its Nouvelles Générations program — a series of initiatives specifically geared toward children and teenagers.
Since April 2005, TfT offers surtitled performances in English, enabling francophones to invite their families and friends and giving all the region’s theatregoers the opportunity to discover French-language theatre.
In November 2007, TfT celebrates its 40th anniversary at Casa Loma in Toronto. This important event for the community was presided over by Governor General Michaëlle Jean and numerous other distinguished guests.
In December 2008, TfT reaches another important stage in its development with the opening of its Centre for Creation. This new space, in the heart of Toronto, brought TfT’s administrative offices, rehearsal hall, and wardrobe facility together under one roof. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable James Moore, visited the Centre for Creation in January 2009.
The 2009-2010 season marks the beginning of an important collaboration project with Ottawa’s Théâtre la Catapulte. This agreement, called Five Years of Theatre, made TfT commit to coproduce and tour a new play per year for five years. The goal is to strengthen the networks for francophone theatre in Ontario and to increase the reach of the company.
For more than 10 years, TfT has supported creation and artistic expression in the schools of the Toronto region. First through the educational program Les Zurbains, spearheaded by Montreal’s Théâtre Le Clou and involving participants from Ottawa, Quebec, Montreal and Toronto, and since 2012 with its own educational program for the youth Les Zinspirés — a more localized initiative truly focusing on Toronto’s youth — willing to offer them more opportunities to participate.
That same year, the company begins offering Drama Classes for Kids taught by Jean-Michel Le Gal and Guy Mignault alongside Improvisation Workshops open to everybody.
TfT also debuts the annual organization of an evening celebrating Black History Month to inform Canadians about black culture and the black community. For this purpose, the company presents leading figures related to the worlds of theatre, music, cinema and litterature, like the Haitian academician Dany Laferrière in 2014.
In July 2016, Joël Beddows succeeds Guy Mignault as Artistic Director. His dynamism, talent as an artist, and expertise are important assets for the company as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.