Building year for La Troupe du Jour

By: Diane Ell April, 2011

Recognized nationally for its original works and unique theatre experience, La Troupe du Jour is much more than entertaining, it is a major force in keeping the Fransaskois culture alive in the province.

Saskatchewan might have one of the smallest Francophone communities in Canada, but its size does not reflect its interest in building a vibrant culture on the prairies. According to provincial government data, there are approximately 50,000 French speaking people in the province.

La Troupe du Jour has been successful in reaching out to the Francophone community and beyond. This past year, La Troupe du Jour opened its multi-user production centre, fittingly called “Production Centre”. It received funding to build a firstclass facility for producing high-quality French-language theatre productions and create a hub of creativity for live arts and French culture in Saskatoon. Thanks to funding from all three levels of government, the newly renovated multi-user centre will include meeting and office spaces, a rehearsal hall with a lighting grid, a raised audio visual booth and a sprung floor, a cozy green room and backstage facilities, prop and wardrobe workshops and wardrobe storage – all with state-of-the-art equipment.

“The past few years have been building year,” explains Denis Rouleau, executive and artistic director of La Troupe du Jour. “It was an opportunity to update the company’s image to better reflect the dynamism of everything we do. Besides the development of a new production centre to inspire further imaginings, we created a new consistent look to ensure that people associate our name with the pride and success.”

The building of a bilingual state-of-theart production centre to house La Troupe du Jour’s activities, which will also be available to other performing arts groups of the area, is a valuable contribution to community. “It means that our creative community - from playwrights and storytellers to technicians, directors and dancers – will have a place to work professionally here at home. Also, arts organizations coming from out of town and looking for a premiere Saskatoon location to hold an event, such as a reading, a writing workshop or a small-scale intimate performance, will be impressed by the quality of our facility.”

Every day, staff from La Troupe du Jour gives personal tours of the facilities to interested independent artists and artistic organizations looking for modern and reasonably priced creative space. Repeat users of the facility now include the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company, Tant per Tant Theatre Company and the White Birch Ballet Company, to name a few.

La Troupe du Jour, founded in 1985, is the only Francophone professional theatre company in Saskatchewan committed to the development of French-language theatre. Through a program of productions, workshops, training, artist talks and tours, La Troupe du jour plays a leading role in Western Canada’s theatre scene. It operates a Playwrights Circle to support writing for theatre and provides support for writers at all stages of their career, as well as working with the Association of Western Canadian Francophone theatre companies to organize professional development workshops.

La Troupe du Jour received a Capacity Building Grant from SaskCulture, to help them in their work to build a new brand and operate into the future.

In its over 25 year history, the company has produced more than 80 plays, half of which are original creations or adaptations for original works by authors from Saskatchewan, including the award-winning 2009 production of Rearview by Gilles Poulin-Denis. According to Rouleau, “Developing these plays has enabled the company to present its audiences with texts that reflect Saskatchewan realities.
For more information on La Troupe du Jour and their season, visit: www.latroupedujour.ca