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Asper Centre for Theatre and Film Fast Facts

In 1999, the Manitoba government provided $3.525-million to buy the former Salvation Army Citadel building at 400 Colony. The University launched a $5.5-million dollar project to renovate and add to the existing structure.

In December 2006, Canwest Global Communications donated $3-million to The University of Winnipeg to establish the now named Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Canadian Heritage provided an additional $473,600 in July 2007.

Main Floor: 505 square feet.

Basement: 505 square feet

Second Floor: 1,680 square feet 

The project also consists of a renovation of existing floor areas:

Basement: 9,000 square feet

Main Floor: 9,000 square feet

Second Floor: 4,600 square feet


  • New highly adaptable black box theatre, converted from a former church sanctuary, supplied with mobile seating for 120 to 200 people and overhead catwalks 

  • New dance studio and mime studio 

  • "Sprung floors" most conducive to dance and strenuous physical activity 

  • Expanded lighting capacity in a new studio unique in the city 

  • Studio capacity expanded from three studios to five 

  • New rehearsal rooms 

  • Lighting design teaching lab 

  • Sound and film editing labs 

  • Refurbished costume and set design space 

  • Enhanced theatre access from the Centre's fully-equipped scene shop

Theatre and film students started using the new facilities in September 2008.

The facility is available for community rentals. As well, community theatre groups are welcomed into the new spaces.

UWinnipeg's Department of Theatre and Film is one of the largest and most respected programs in Canada, offering undergraduate and pre-professional training for theatre and film artists. The program includes the opportunity to obtain a B.A. (General) or a B.A. (Honours) in one or more of six different areas of study: acting/musical theatre/directing; design; drama in education; filmmaking; playwriting; and stage management/production. Coursework encompasses a full range of practical and theoretical study in all areas.

  • Approximately 10% of all undergraduates at UWinnipeg are enrolled in theatre and film. 

  • The total number of registrations for theatre courses in September, 2008 was 1,125. 

  • That is up from enrolment of approximately 500 students in the department in 2000. 

  • The department employs 12 full-time faculty and another 12 (plus) as contract instructors. 

  • Each year the department mounts a full season of activities available to the public for free; this usually includes 3-6 productions and a film festival. 

  • The department is a sponsor of MTC's annual Fringe Festival, providing not only many actors and technicians but technical equipment and expertise as well. For the first time, in July 2009, the new theatre will host three BYOV Fringe shows, including one mounted by the Department for student credit. 

  • The department has a joint program with Winnipeg's School of Contemporary Dancers, which is unique in Canada and highly renowned. 

  • Among the many prominent alumni from the department are: Brian Drader and Vern Thiessen (award-winning playwrights); Larry Desrochers (Executive Director, MB. Opera); Laurie Lam (Producer, MTC); David Wallace (sound designer, Cirque du Soleil); Ann Hodges (theatrical and operatic director); Nick Kowalchuk (producer Wpg Fringe, Exec Dir, Gas Station Theatre); Katie East, Evan Klassen (stage managers); Lisa Hancharek and Doug Paraschuk (designers); Michael Walton (lighting designer); Naomi Weibe (stage manager, Stratford); Jacqueline Loewen and Lisa Durupt (stunt performers); Jessie Kwok, Tasha Vinci, Danielle Sturk, Matt Hannam, Raymond and Adam Friesen, Chad Tremblay (filmmakers); many actors in theatre, film, and TV such as Pam Sinha (ER), Tina Keeper (North of 60); Kristopher Turner (Instant Star); Lisa Durupt (Less than Kind); Brenda Gorlick, Jan Skene, Jennifer Villaverde, Chris Sigurdson; and many teachers. 

  • The Department hosts an annual community-based Student Film Festival.

 Find out more about UWinnipeg's theatre, film and dance programs here.

The Chair of the Department of Theatre and Film is Tim Babcock, 786-9455, t.babcock@uwinnipeg.ca.