(File photo)

After a three-year hiatus, the Other Guise Theatre Company (based in Ladysmith) is excited to announce the purchase of the building at 716 Johnson Street in downtown Victoria. 

This will make the Other Guise the first performing arts company in Victoria to own their own space downtown!

Additionally, there will be an open house Tuesday, June 27th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to celebrate this new space for artists and to build community excitement! 

There will be live music, snacks, and drinks for your enjoyment.

The renovations to this old grocery store will begin as soon as possible with promises of the space being completely transformed into a fully functional and pristine artists hub. 

“We’ll need to conduct some serious upgrades,” said Artistic and Executive Director, Matthew Payne (co-founder and former artistic leader at Theatre SKAM). 

“We’ll start with a clean slate.”

As described, it will include a black box theatre for all sorts of entertainment events, a cabaret/cafe space with wine bar vibes, and a top floor of dance studios (the current and continued home of Raino Dance despite new ownership) and rehearsal studios. 

They’re even converting the alleyway into a patio space for outdoor seating, drinks, and socializing! 

It will feature comedy, live music, and poetry.

They’ve partnered with Fold Architecture, who will begin with the installation of moment frames — a collection of steel arches that will be placed along the length of the building for structural refitting.

“Artists need a home,” said Mary Desprez, company manager at Other Guise. 

“[This] will create a safe space for artists to do all of these things, becoming a permanent fixture to enliven Downtown Victoria.”

They’re hoping the renovations are complete by 2025, so stay tuned, Victoria!

They received $100,000 from the City of Victoria’s Cultural Infrastructure Grant (CIG) program, which is one branch of Victoria’s Create Victoria Arts and Culture Master Plan — designed to improve accessibility, affordability, and availability of arts and culture venues.

If you wish to donate to the Other Guise to help fund the renovations and bring this lovely artist and community space into existence, visit their website or head to the Canada Helps page.

The Other Guise Theatre Company Open House

  • Where: 716 Johnson Street
  • When: Tuesday, June 27th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

We know this city. You should too. 👊

We uncover the best of the city and put it all in an email for you!