Crane Creations Theatre Company (CCTC) is a professional theatre company in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. We present Bridges International Puppetry Festival each year in March, have training opportunities for youth year-round, and create live theatre productions for local audiences. CCTC was founded by Andreja Kovac, a professional director, creator, and producer. She is originally from Slovenia, but is now based in Mississauga. Andreja holds the equivalent of an MFA in Directing for Theatre and Radio from Slovenia’s National Conservatory for Theatre. She is also a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s directing program. Before immigrating to Canada she directed more than 40 award winning productions at Slovene state funded, repertory theatres, most of which toured internationally. She received critical acclaim as a director of classical pieces, contemporary work, opera, theatre for young audiences and devised projects.
Our mission is to advance the creation, evolution, promotion and support for professional theatre in the Region of Peel. We create and present events that investigate the building blocks of society such as identity, justice, politics, economy, technology and arts. Our goal is to encourage and promote emerging artists by providing them with resources, mentorship and training, and to actively seek collaboration with professional artists and community partners. We are constantly cultivating and expanding national and international ties with professional theatres, presenters, festivals, curators and artists.
To become a Mississauga based, internationally renowned, professional theatre company with a permanent ensemble, year round programming and our own venue.
To advance the creation, evolution, promotion and support of professional theatre in Mississauga. We achieve this by producing and presenting professional theatre and sharing knowledge and resources with local artists.
Inclusivity: Passionate and committed to reflect the population of Canada as much as possible we want to see its reflection in arts jobs. We don’t type cast.
Transparency: We are happy to share statistics like: how many applications we received, people auditioned and got hired.
Knowledge: Check out our professional development opportunities, read 10 tips for getting hired, and for fun, take our quiz about the theatre world!
Crane Creations Theatre Company is an artist driven company. A core team of artists run the company’s day to day operations. In these day to day operations we become much more than artists: we take care of accounting, contracting, event planning, community engagement, advertising, online content creation, grant writing, sponsorship and partnership development. Our core team members have university education from various fields of theatre such as Directing, Acting, Production Design and Literature.
Board of Directors
Board members are responsible for the oversight of a non profit organization. They provide advice, resources, ensure transparency and evaluate the work of Crane Creations Theatre Company in relation to our mission. The Board Members steer an organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance.
We are always developing workshops, expert panels and discussions for young people interested in learning more about different theatre related topics. Is there something you would like to learn about? Send us an e-mail with suggestions for our next workshops.
After this success, and her time at the National Theatre School, she decided to take on another challenge, starting a theatre company in Mississauga. In 2015, Crane Creations Theatre Company was incorporated as a not-for-profit.
- January: Artsbuild – Creative Spaces Mentorship Program. In 2019, Crane Creations Theatre Company was selected to participate in a series of workshops and a mentorship program, provided by Arts Build’s Creative Spaces Mentorship Program. This program focused on development, challenges and solutions for organizations owning funds and leasing or acquiring a space. The team started this program with only an idea, and came out of the program with a partnership that helped CCTC to gain access to a studio and workspace.
- June to August: Summer Ensemble program: CCTC ran its first, which included 13 emerging artists, this coincided with the acquisition of a studio/office space that we have in Mississauga. We were able to provide the participants with training, and invaluable resources and insight into the professional theatre industry in Canada, and around the world.
- October to February:York Entrepreneurship Development Institute. Crane Creations was selected as one of 15 not-for-profit organizations to participate in an intensive 16-week entrepreneurship training program designed specifically for non-profit organizations. This program, collaboratively run by York Entrepreneurship Development Institute and Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre, helped us develop a professional business plan, executive summary, streamline their business model and meet valuable partners.
- January to December 2021: This play translation project is a collaborative effort between Presernovo Gledališče Kranj, a professional repertory theatre located in the city of Kranj, Slovenia, and Crane Creations Theatre Company. This project is generously supported by the European Commission and the Slovene Government.
- March: Launch of Annual Bridges Puppetry Festival: In March 2020, we launched a new professional, international puppetry festival in Mississauga. Bridges Festival was on track to present 3 indoor and 2 outdoor puppet shows, as well as 3 interactive workshops and an exhibition. Unfortunately, the festival’s launch was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as facilities were mandated to close on the first day of the festival. All but the first two shows and the exhibition were cancelled, which dramatically affecting attendance literally at the last possible minute. Despite cancellations, we achieved a lot with our first festival, and created important connections in the community, including sponsors and partners which have helped us immensely ever since.
- June to August: Summer Ensemble: Second Edition: Between June and August 2020, after a successful Summer Ensemble program in 2019, CCTC was able to provide 13 more emerging artists with invaluable training and knowledge about the industry once again. We were forced to move the program online, thanks to the pandemic, working over Zoom with the whole team for over half of the time those emerging artists were contracted to work with us. Thankfully, re-opening allowed us to eventually meet in person to continue to workshop new works, continue to develop existing pieces that had been started the year prior, and continue building useful, real-world applicable skills for the self-employed participants.
- September 2020-2021: Eugenia De Jong first Playwright in Residence: After the Summer Ensemble, in September 2020, Crane Creations Theatre Company selected Eugenia De Jong to be the first Playwright in Residence with us. She worked on a new play, Mirror, for young audiences, and continued to learn and work with us to take that project from the page to the stage.
- October: Officially part of P.A.C.T: Professional Association of Canadian Theatres: In October of 2020, Crane Creations Theatre Company officially became a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (often referred to as PACT). Just like a medical association or an association of engineers, PACT is a member-driven organization of professional Canadian theatres, working towards the betterment of Canadian Theatre. PACT provides leadership, national representation and a variety of programs and practical assistance to member companies, empowering them to do their own creative work, and advocating for them.
- January: Play Date. In January 2021, despite an incredibly challenging year due to COVID-19, we were able to successfully launch a new program called Play Date. Happening on the third Thursday of each month, Play Date is an open to all, public play reading activity. Each month we select a play from a different playwright from around the world. We focus on reading and discussing the relevance of the play, its author, and use the opportunity to connect with community members who may have never read a play before. We would like to thank the city of Mississauga for generously supporting this activity. Anyone is welcome to join and read with us, regardless of their reading or language skills. Each session will be followed by a discussion led by a professional theatre artist to spark conversations about the themes, style, form, and current world issues related to the selected play.
- February: Operational funding from the city of Mississauga: In February of 2021 we received operational funding from the city of Mississauga. This support is crucial to be able to support our staff as they work on the many different projects we are constantly working on throughout the year. We are beyond excited that the city supports us, and we are looking forward to continuing to build this relationship as our events and activities grow as well. This funding allows us to properly support administrative staff, and continue to maintain our studio despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We are able to think bigger and set our goals higher for the years to come.
- March: Bridges Puppetry Festival Edition Two! In March 2021, Bridges Puppetry Festival successfully completed its full three days of activities for the first time! COVID-19 halted the first edition of the festival in it’s tracks in the first year, when it launched on March 13th 2020. In 2021, we had 3 full days of professional puppetry, all online, as well as a selection of animated shorts that focused on various ways which animation, automation and robotics can relate to puppetry.
- June to August: Summer Ensemble Program: Third Edition: From June-August 2021, the 3rd successful Summer Ensemble program took place, with 17 new emerging artists joining our roster of exceptional alumni. We were able to provide more artists with on the job skills training and support, despite still feeling the strong impacts of the covid-19 pandemic. We, once again had to shift the program to be partially online, and only a few weeks were held in person, thanks to re-openings in Ontario. We worked on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with the participants who are actors, as well as a short new play for young audiences called Mirror.
- August: Festival International des Arts de la Marionnette à Saguenay (FIAMS). During the Summer of 2021, some of our team headed up to Saguenay to attend the Festival International des Arts de la Marionnette à Saguenay (FIAMS). This was our first in person event as a company since the beginning of the pandemic, and we were thrilled to discover many puppet shows that could be well suited for upcoming Bridges Festival.
- August: Mirror – A puppetry play for children: Crane Creations, with the help of playwright in residence Eugenia De Jong was able to workshop and present a small public performance of the work-in-progress, Mirror. This creation process included composing songs and lyrics, building puppets, creating the set, and pushing this piece as far as possible in the short amount of time.
- November: Launch of Ivan Cankar’s Play Collection in English: Artistic Director Andreja Kovac travelled to Slovenia for the launch of the translated plays of Ivan Cankar. This included presenting the project and the Slovenian National Playwriting Festival, where she saw the results of the two years of work on these books in person, on paper for the first time.
- November to December: Terror – An Interactive Courtroom Drama. Crane Creations produced its first full length play for the public at the end of 2021, Terror, by Ferdinand von Schirach. With strict COVID prevention tactics in place, including rapid-testing for all artists involved, as well as masks and social distancing for the audience, this show was a success, and welcomed various MPPs and Councillors from the Mississauga area and Peel region.
Whats coming up:
- March: Bridges Festival 2022. We are looking forward to having our 3rd edition of Bridges Festival in 2022, including some in person puppetry (if it is safe to gather in person), as well as some workshops, industry events, an exhibit and more, happening all around the city of Mississauga.
We’ve always got lots of projects, and programs in the works behind the scenes. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when new things are happening.