Targeted specifically for organizations working with newcomers and at-risk youth, the citySPECIAL enables access to attend the performing arts at no cost, based on the premise that Toronto’s performing arts should be accessible to everyone.
How Does It Work?
- Participating theatres provide free tickets to citySPECIAL.
- Subscribed social service organizations receive an email listing of all shows available with the number of tickets on which dates are available.
- Participating agencies distribute ticket information to their clients and volunteers to submit booking requests.
- Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Tickets are held at the venue’s box office and must be picked up 30 minutes before the performance starts, or they will be released as needed for sale to the public.
To register your agency/organization for the citySPECIAL program, please complete the following application form:
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Scott Dermody, Outreach Manager
416.536.6468 x 30
Thank you kindly for your generous support of tickets to Yonge Street Mission. Your donation will make a vital and immediate impact in the lives of street youth, families in need, and adults experiencing chronic poverty in our community. We are grateful for your kindness and compassion.
As part of my re-entry into the workplace in my chosen field, Workman Arts’ participation in citySPECIAL was crucial. The process of recovery needs rest and recreation as well as insight into the commonality of the human condition. The act of sharing a meaningful artistic experience cannot be underestimated in healing value. Hats off to all those who make the program possible thereby showing compassion and a desire to lighten the load of people so often disenfranchised by society.
Honestly, we share our praises for this program all over the country when we present and speak about how we get gang involved youths to exit and leave gangs. Well this is one of the very needed and underrated resources…
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to present identification with my e-ticket-voucher at the door?
Venues reserve to right to confirm ticket holder status by checking photo I.D. to validate your e-ticket-voucher.
What if the person sitting next to me didn’t read this list and is making my experience miserable?
Please speak to an usher or ask to speak to the House Manager and explain the situation. They will know what to do!
I might be late, is that going to be a problem?
Depending on the production and theatre layout, chances are good you will not be admitted/seated until a suitable break in the show (known as a “late call”). Be aware that some productions may not seat you until the next intermission and some productions with no intermissions do not allow latecomers at all. The same rule may apply if you have to leave the auditorium to use the bathroom.
If someone doesn’t show up can I use their seat?
No. Once a seat is purchased for a specific date and time, it belongs to the owner regardless of whether they use it or not. Remember that they may show up at any time during the show, so “seat jumping” as the lights go down is not a good idea and can prove very disruptive.
How early should I arrive?
Always plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to show time.
Can I go on the stage or visit the actors backstage?
For safety reasons, only performers and production staff are allowed backstage or on stage. You may wait at the theatre door (or Stage Door) and meet the actors after the show. It is always important to remember that this is effectively after work/personal time for the performers so they may be unable to stay and chat. Many performers are also quite shy when not on stage so it’s best to respect their privacy as well.
Can I take food or drinks in with me?
Generally theatres ban all outside food and beverages but many do provide snacks and drinks at a concession stand or bar. Most theatres do not allow food or drink in the auditorium (bottled water may be an exception) but some larger theatres do. There is no smoking in the building. Inebriated/intoxicated patrons causing a disruption or anyone bringing in illegal or banned substances will be asked to leave the theatre and tickets will not be refunded.
Do I have to dress up?
Most theatres have no official “dress code” for attending. Matinees and weekday evenings tend to be a bit more casual. The exception to this would be Opening Nights and Galas which people usually dress up for. We suggest “business casual” as a guideline and encourage you to be comfortable. In the summer, remember that many theatres are air conditioned so it’s not a bad idea to bring a sweater or a wrap just in case you feel chilly.
What are the rules with cell phones?
Talking on your phone or texting is not permitted during the show. Anyone using a mobile device during the show may be asked to leave and admittance may be refused. The buzzing from a phone set to vibrate is distracting for many people around you and the light from your screen can be very annoying. Therefore once you enter the auditorium your phone should be shut off and put away until after the show is over. There should be no need to take it out or power it up. If there is an emergency situation and you may need to be contacted, talk to the house manager for options.
Can I take photographs or video of the show?
Unfortunately, no. Photography of any kind is prohibited during a performance. Audio and video recordings are forbidden under copyright law. If anyone is found photographing or taping the performance, their photos or recordings will be deleted and they will be asked to leave the theatre without a ticket refund. This includes selfies! Instead, why not grab a great photo of you and your friends at the theatre marque or front doors, or perhaps holding a programme?
How do I print my e-ticket-voucher? Is it a valid ticket?
An email will be sent to you within a few minutes of purchasing your tickets. The email will include your e-ticket-voucher that you print on any printer on standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. Your e-ticket is a voucher for a specific date, time and number of seats that can be traded at the venue for an actual ticket 30 minutes prior to the show.