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Media Release

Canadian Theatre’s longest-reigning artistic director prepares for another encore

Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Steven Schipper to head up the City of Brampton’s Rose Theatre in 2019
Brampton, ON (December 4, 2018) – The City of Brampton is pleased to announce the appointment of Steven Schipper as the new Executive Artistic Director of The Rose Theatre, a keystone of Brampton’s vibrant and diverse cultural community.  Steven Schipper will officially join The Rose in June 2019, following a longstanding and celebrated 30 years at the helm of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Royal MTC), from which he will retire at the end of the 2018-19 season.  In his new post as a member of the City of Brampton’s Economic Development and Cultural Services, Steven will play an integral role in helping to shape the city’s cultural and arts identity.

The announcement comes as Brampton undergoes immense growth and major transformation.  In May 2018, Brampton City Council unanimously endorsed a bold new plan for the city through the Brampton 2040 Vision, creating a roadmap to become a future-ready model city for livability, sustainability and creativity. The City’s new Culture Master Plan was also introduced this year, with many initiatives already underway. Current projects include a refresh to the Public Art program, and renovating and upgrading cultural establishments such as the Cyril Clark Library Hall and Lester B. Pearson Theatre to attract more events to the city.

“We are honoured to welcome Steven to the City of Brampton, and look forward to his strategic guidance and depth of experience toward building a legacy for The Rose, and the city’s cultural landscape at large,” said Bob Darling, Director of Economic Development and Culture, City of Brampton.  “To have such an esteemed leader in Canadian theatre choose Brampton is an incredible endorsement and confirmation that we are on the threshold of a cultural renaissance.  Brampton is thinking bigger, bolder, and we’re ready for our spotlight on the world stage.”

“I’ve been blessed to help Royal MTC flourish thanks to incredible artists, audiences, and staff, and I’ll be forever grateful to Manitobans for embracing me as one of their own,” said Steven Schipper. “Brampton has offered me an exciting new opportunity to help them establish an artistic identity that reflects a young, energetic city; and to play an integral role in building a vibrant cultural centre for future generations.” 

He adds, “I look forward to developing relationships with the artists and audiences in Brampton and surrounding regions, and working with civic leaders and communities to reflect onstage their values, passion and creativity.”

As one of the country’s longest serving artistic directors, Steven Schipper is credited with enhancing the Royal MTC's artistry, and for developing a new base of audience members and donors. During his 30-year tenancy, he was responsible for bringing world premieres to the Royal MTC including Maureen Hunter’s Transit of Venus and Atlantis, Niki Landau’s adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, Bruce McManus’ adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and the Canadian premiere of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, to name a few. 

He drew global attention to Winnipeg’s arts scene by attracting marquee productions such as Hamlet, starring movie star Keanu Reeves, and the sold-out run of the Junkyard Dog/Mirvish production of Come From Away before it headed to Toronto where it is still playing; and made it a point to support local actors and playwrights such as premiering Winnipeg writer Ellen Peterson's adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Steven also helped grow the Winnipeg Fringe Festival into one the largest of its kind in the country, initiated the Master Playwright Festival dedicated to giving local theatre companies the chance to stage plays by a designated playwright, and provided opportunities to engage diverse audiences and arts organizations, working with members of the Aboriginal Arts Training and Mentorship Program and bringing award-winning plays to Manitoba high schools.

The Manitoba Theatre Centre received a royal designation from Queen Elizabeth II in 2010, and has been a model for regional theatres throughout North America. Steven was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2012 for his contributions to Canadian theatre; and received two Honorary Doctorates, one from the University of Winnipeg and the other from the University of Manitoba.

Steven Schipper will officially join The Rose in June 2019
Brampton is thinking bigger. We are a future ready organization with a sharp focus. We know our community’s growth, youth and diversity set us apart. We sit at the centre of Canada’s innovation super corridor, encouraging investment and growing our global success. We are building vibrant urban centres that ignite opportunity and instill pride in the people who live and work here. We are moving Brampton forward to be a connected city that is innovative, inclusive and bold. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. Learn more at
Natalie Stogdill
Media Coordinator, City of Brampton