OUR MANDATE & HISTORY


THE SEGAL CENTRE: THE HEART OF ENGLISH THEATRE IN MONTREAL

The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to nurturing, producing, and presenting world-class English-language theatre, and to showcasing the best professional artists from Montreal and beyond.  

A part of the community since 1967, the organization was reborn in 2007 as the Segal and has expanded to become a nationally recognized venue for the performing arts with a focus on creation, innovation, diversity, and cross-cultural collaborations. 

Driven by a belief in the power of the arts to strengthen and connect communities, the Segal’s programming emphasizes original interpretations of popular classic and contemporary works, new Canadian musicals, and engaging productions with universal appeal. The Segal also believes in the importance of celebrating and exploring Jewish identity through the arts.

Based on the belief that theatre should be accessible to all, our professional performing arts Academy and diverse Educational programs inspire the next generation of artists and enrich the audience’s theatre experience. 

Working closely with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing communities, the Segal also offers ASL-interpreted performances for certain productions and assisted listening audio-systems. It is also easily accessible to patrons with reduced mobility. We are committed to making each of our guests visit to the theatre as convenient as possible.


THE SEGAL CENTRE AT A GLANCE

  • Located in the heart of Montreal’s vibrant west-end
  • Welcomes over 65,000 visitors a year
  • Home to the esteemed Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre (est. 1958), Canada’s only and oldest Yiddish-language theatre
  • Provides employment for and advances the artistic practice of over 200 artists from Montreal and across the country, year-round
  • A first-class multi-space venue that includes a 306-seat Theatre, a 186-seat Studio, 77-seat CinemaSpace, and ArtLounge, along with 5 rehearsal spaces, a costume shop and scenic shop
  • A favoured destination for theatre, as well as concerts, dance, cinema, educational programming, and Jewish cultural events

HOW WE GOT HERE

Over the past 50 years, the building which houses the Segal Centre for Performing Arts has undergone significant changes and growth. In 1967, the Saidye Bronfman Centre was founded by the YM-YWHA, with funding from the Bronfman family. The centre was a gift to the Jewish community in honour of Saidye Bronfman’s 70th birthday, and housed both a visual arts gallery and a theatre. The building was designed by award-winning Architect Phyllis Lambert, CC GOQ FRAIC FRSC RCA, one of Saidye’s daughters.

The centre soon became home to the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre (DWYT), one of North America’s oldest Yiddish theatre companies. Founded in 1958 by Dora Wasserman, CM CQ, the DWYT keeps the tradition of Yiddish Theatre alive by producing critically and publicly acclaimed productions in Yiddish. The Segal remains the home of the extensive Yiddish Theatre Archives, which are maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers.

After extensive renovations and expansion in 1987, the Saidye Bronfman Centre theatre re-opened with a brand new 306-seat theatre.

In 2007, in acknowledgement of the financial support of the Alvin Segal family, the Saidye was renamed the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, and It became a multi-disciplinary performing arts centre, with an expanded emphasis on education, community outreach, music, dance, and cinema.

The Segal is more than just a theatre; it is a treasured artistic resource and community hub for independent and emerging artists, and is celebrated for bringing the best artists from across to the country to the Montreal stage.

The CBC has called us “a major player on the city’s art scene,” and The Globe and Mail has named us “one of the country’s elite cultural institutions.”