Toronto’s performing arts should be accessible to everyone - this is this premise on which citySPECIAL was created. Through The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) this program is targeted specifically to newcomers and at-risk youth and enables them to attend the performing arts at no cost.

This program is absolutely free. Participation is easy. This is a terrific opportunity to partake in an artistic and memorable experience that otherwise might be inaccessible. Individuals interested in participating must be clients of one of the participating registered agencies, listed in the link on the sidebar of this page.

How Does It Work?

As participating theatres provide tickets to citySPECIAL, subscribed social service organizations will receive an email listing of all shows available to the program and how many tickets on which dates are available. Participating agencies then distribute this ticket information to their clients and volunteers to submit booking requests. Individuals interested in participating must be clients of one of the participating registered agencies, listed in the link on the sidebar of this page.

Please note that there are many social service agencies participating in the program, and tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Also note that TAPA and citySPECIAL do not take responsibility for the content or language in each of the participating productions.

  • Agency Primary Contact replies to TAPA’s Outreach Manager to request the number of tickets they would like for the production and on which date.
  • Agency Primary Contact will receive a booking confirmation email automatically generated from ticketing software, listing details of the show such as time, date and location.
  • Tickets will be held at the venue’s box office under Agency Primary Contact's name and that of the agency (unless alternate arrangements have been made between agency and venue).
  • Tickets 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 this application form:


citySPECIAL Registration

citySPECIAL Testimonials

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.

Angie Peters, CEO Yonge Street Mission (YSM)

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…

Gary Newman, CTI – Breaking the Cycle Rexdale

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.

Miles Cohen – participant through Workman Arts

Your program is great for morale, especially for those who are struggling to find employment and money is tight…

Kerry Leah – The Career Foundation

It was lifegiving and an inspiration for my sister in a time of great unhappiness. These plays were culturally uplifting, thank you for providing the tickets.

Ruth Anderson – participant through Community Resource Connection of Toronto

citySPECIAL allows youth program coordinators to ask ‘which one should we see?’ rather than ‘how?’ reConnexion thanks citySPECIAL for helping us get young bums in theatre seats!

Jajube Mandiela – reConnexion Collective core member

The citySPECIAL provides our clients with the opportunity to attend events they would not otherwise be able to afford. It is a social outing and is normalizing for our clients to attend such events.

Julie Valenti – Community Resource Connections of Toronto

Everyone enjoyed the performance. The students stated it was educational, informative, meaningful and a great show! Thank you very much. Our (ESL students and staff) appreciation for the tickets.

Maria Guiao – CultureLink Settlement Services

This program has been instrumental in providing under-resourced students with the opportunity to attend, engage, and for some, be exposed to the theatre. For many of our students, attending a real play is just not an option. It is our hope that this program continues to be supported, thereby opening new horizons and learning opportunities for students!

Michelle Munroe – Inner City Model Schools, Toronto District School Board

For questions or more information, please contact:

Scott Dermody, Outreach Manager 
416.536.6468 x 26

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