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Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Programs + Initiatives

World Theatre Day

​World Theatre Day

​World Theatre Day 2024 Internationally

Created in 1961 by UNESCO, World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on March 27 by theatre communities around the globe. The impetus behind World Theatre Day is to honour and further the goal of UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute (ITI) to celebrate the power of theatre to serve as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace as well as to promote and protect cultural diversity and identity in communities throughout the world.

Learn more about World Theatre Day internationally by clicking here.

​World Theatre Day 2024 in Canada


In Canada, World Theatre Day has also become a national rallying cry to policy-makers and partners as to the importance of supporting this sector. 

World-class theatre is being created every day across this country, by companies large and small, rural and urban. With studies reporting a national rise in feelings of loneliness and isolation, Canada’s theatres offer a vital opportunity. Theatre is about connection – the spark between audience and performers as the curtain rises, the shared experience as a community, and the conversations that linger after the final bow.

If theatre is important to you, here are three ways you can show your support in the lead up to World Theatre Day: 
  1. Book a ticket to go see a show and post about it using #GoSeeAShow. Not sure where to start? You can find a map of national theatres and event listings at
  2. Contact your elected officials at all levels, and let them know theatre is important to you, and you support increase public funding. It is quick, easy, and you only need your postal code. 
  3. Encourage others by sharing a favourite theatre experience on social media using the hashtags #RallyForTheatre and #WorldTheatreDay 

    Every year in Canada, an outstanding playwright, actor, artistic director, storyteller, or creator is selected as an ambassador of Canadian theatre for World Theatre Day, and invites Canadians to join in and experience the joy and the power of theatre.

    Resources to Celebrate World Theatre Day

    Download PACT's World Theatre Day social media share kit, lobby signage, media releases, and other resources by clicking the button below.

    Impact of Theatre in Canada

    • Canada’s theatres employed 26,711 people last year; 
    • Canada’s cultural sector accounts for 2.3% of the country’s GDP; 
    • Cultural tourists stay longer and spend nearly three-times more while they’re here, supporting other local businesses. 

    World Theatre Day Ambassadors

    Each year a celebrated theatre artist is selected to be the World Theatre Day Canada Ambassador, and they are invited to deliver a personal message to the community. Meet the 2024 Ambassadors below. 
    Jani Lauzon

    World Theatre Day in Canada Ambassador
    ​Jani Lauzon

    The 2024 World Theatre Day Canadian Ambassador address will be released on March 27. Check back here. 

    Jani Lauzon is a multidisciplinary artist of Métis/French/Finnish ancestry. She is a multi-nominated actor/director/writer, Juno nominated singer/songwriter, an award winning screen actress, and a Gemini Award winning puppeteer. She received the Toronto Theatre Critics Director award, the ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence and the John Hirsch Director’s Award. As a puppeteer she worked such shows as The Mr. Dress-Up Show, Wumpas World, Little Star and she played Pa Foley on The Big Comfy Couch. Memorable theatre appearances include; Cordelia/Fool in the NAC Aboriginal production of King Lear, Shylock in Merchant of Venice (SITR) and the Neighbour/Servant in Blood Wedding (Modern Times/Aluna Theatre). Directing credits include: 1939 (Stratford Festival) Where the Blood Mixes and Almighty Voice and his Wife (Soulpepper), Rope (Shaw Festival). Alien Creature at TPM, I Call myself Princess (The Globe Theatre). Television guest appearances include Ruby and the Well,Something Undone, Six Days to Die and Saving Hope. Jani was an advocate for inclusivity of cultural and physically diverse artists on Canadian screens through her work as the Diversity Advocate at ACTRA for over 20 years. 
    Jon Fosse

    World Theatre Day International Ambassador
    Jon Fosse

    The ITI commissions an international message each year in celebration of World Theatre Day. The message for 2024 is written by Norwegian writer, playwright Jon Fosse. The message can be read here.

    Jon Fosse was born in 1959 in Haugesund, Rogaland county, and grew up in Strandebarm, Hardanger (a traditional district in Vestland). He started writing when he was about twelve years old. When he was a teenager, Fosse was interested in becoming a rock guitarist. When he no longer thought he would be a rock star, he could spend more time writing.

    Fosse studied comparative literature at the University of Bergen. His first novel, Raudt, svart'' (Red, Black), was published in 1983. He earned a master's degree in comparative literature in 1987, also from the University of Bergen.

    Fosse's first play, Og aldri skal vi skiljast'' (And We'll Never Be Parted), was performed and published in 1994. His novel Septology, has 7 volumes, and they are published as 3 books; the first of those books came out in 2019

    World Theatre Day for Children and Youth (March 20)

    Mishka Lavigne

    Celebrated each year on March 20, ASSITEJ's World Day of Theatre for Children is a campaign promoted and celebrated through the message ‘Take a child to the theatre, today’. focus enables national centres, individual members, companies, arts organizations, academics, teachers, artists, practitioners and others interested in theatre for young audiences to connect with the idea of world day and ‘make the case’ for children’s entitlement to theatre and the arts.

    PACT and ASSITEJ share a message from Bianca Richard, this year's Canadian ambassador. Bianca shares her five favourite theatre anecdotes related to youth. 

    Bianca Richard

    World Theatre Day for Children and Youth Ambassador - Bianca Richard

    Bianca Richard is an actor and puppeteer who also occasionally writes for theatre and film. Originally from Notre-Dame in Kent, New Brunswick, she graduated from Moncton Univeristy in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in Dramatic Arts. Co-founder of Théâtre La Cigogne in 2012, she participated in the company's productions until 2018 (Le loup: l'histoire d'un incompris, VIOLENCES, Voyage Identitaire and Le froid est un détail de l'hiver).Since then, she has navigated between TV acting (À la Valdrague, Newbies), theatre creation (Radi, Les limites du bruit possible, “T'', Pépins) and short film production (Out of tune, llama à la maison, Al-Ghoula à la plage). Between 2021 and 2023, she co-hosted two seasons of the national youth TV series ONIVA! (Radio-Canada). From 2019 to the present, she is working on the development of the play Parler Mal in collaboration with Gabriel Robichaud.

    Photo Credit: Annie France Noel

    Take a child to the theatre, today!