This project began as a response to the current global pandemic. There were moments early on when it felt like the theatre would never live again, but it is a resilient thing, the theatre. The YES Theatre Refettorio is an artistic Neverland intended to strengthen our sense of community and connection through arts and culture.
This new infrastructure will support and develop new work, new ideas and innovative arts-based practices. The Refettorio will be a financially accessible space that can be utilized by different artistic events each day. This space will also continue to allow YES Theatre to produce unique, world-class artistic works utilizing local citizen artists.
The vital energy created at the outdoor venue will become an economic engine for the entire downtown core. Bringing upwards of 700 patrons to the area daily will ensure a major boost to foot traffic to the downtown, creating a supportive ecosystem branching between all downtown businesses, restaurants, shops and theatres alike.
Integral to a vibrant arts ecology is the widespread collaboration between artists and organizations in the community. The “Ref” will be an inspiring community hub that will forge new artistic bonds and strengthen old ones, fostering a theatrical community for artists and patrons alike. This will be a haven for all citizen artists; those who live, work and play in our community.
The word refettorio comes from the Latin reficere, meaning to remake and restore. We will work with local organizations, producers, artists, architects and community leaders to restore and renovate this underused space, transforming it into a state-of-the-art outdoor theatre.
This multipurpose space will be used as a key venue for the YES Theatre Summer Festival. With the introduction of the Refettorio we are creating a world-class arts and culture district in the heart of downtown Sudbury; utilizing Sudbury Theatre Centre and the Refettorio to create Canada’s largest musical theatre festival.