Theatre Aquarius is a hub for creative conversation that celebrates possibility, engages community, fosters innovation, and ignites future voices. We’re your gathering place to share stories that provoke, delight, inspire, and transform.

For 50 seasons, we have been recognized as a leader in Canadian Theatre, producing work of the highest quality, premiering new plays, developing the skills of professional artists, and investing in youth and families in the Hamilton region and beyond. 

We are guided by our Strategic Actions that are rooted in excellence, collaboration, audience engagement, inclusivity and sustainability. 

Theatre Aquarius is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and proudly engages artists who are members of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA) and stage technicians who are members of IATSE Locals 129 and 828.



Seasons as Hamilton’s Professional Theatre


Performances annually


Visitors attracted to the theatre annually


Theatre Aquarius is an anchor for revitalization in Downtown Hamilton, welcoming more than 100,000 visitors per year. Located in Hamilton’s International Village, we’re centrally located, giving our patrons the opportunity to visit the city’s many unique and interesting restaurants and shops. In fact, they spend more than $4 million annually dining, parking and shopping during their visits to Theatre Aquarius.

“When we have a successful show, Downtown has a successful experience.”
Theatre Aquarius Artistic Director Mary Francis Moore, as told to CHCH

Together with the economic activity of more than 100 person-years of employment per season, and the commitment of our production teams to purchasing materials from local vendors wherever possible, Theatre Aquarius is proud to contribute direct economic benefits to Hamilton of more than $12 million dollars each year!


Parking Fees paid annually by patrons to private and city lots (source: 2016 patron survey)


Materials and construction supplies purchased from local vendors annually


87.4% of patrons dine locally when attending (Source: 2016 Patron Survey)


Economic activity generated annually including approx. 100 person-years of employment (Source: Ontario Arts Council – Assessing the Local Impact of the Arts)


Direct economic benefits to our city


Theatre Aquarius owns and manages the Dofasco Centre for the Arts which houses the fully equipped 700 seat, proscenium style, Irving Zucker Auditorium and the 125 seat Norman and Louise Haac Studio Theatre which doubles as the Rehearsal Hall. The Dofasco Centre for the Arts also features the stunning two-storey glass and steel encased Ron and Donna Patterson Lobby, as well as the upscale Michael and Jane Schwenger Director’s Lounge which is used exclusively by Director’s Circle Members on performance dates.


At its inception under Founding Artistic Director Peter Mandia in 1973, Theatre Aquarius performed primarily at the Studio Theatre at Hamilton Place. The demand for Professional Theatre within the city proved to be tremendous, and it rapidly became apparent that the needs of the company necessitated a larger venue. Thanks to a tremendous effort of many committed believers and the generosity of businesses, private donors and government agencies, in 1991, Theatre Aquarius opened the doors of its own theatre centre, now known as the Dofasco Centre for the Arts.

Theatre Aquarius launched the Performing Arts Programme, a theatre school for ages 8 and up in 1976. The Programme has run continuously, providing thousands of young people throughout the region with a chance to participate in the theatre arts at a high level, launching many to professional careers in the arts and providing many more with new confidence that helped them reach their dreams, and helping to instill a lifelong love of theatre.

Theatre Aquarius Opening Photo
Vision: Theatre Aquarius is a gathering place to share stories that reflect and unite. Mission: Theatre Aquarius provokes, delights, inspires and transforms. Values: Theatre Aquarius is a hub for creative conversation that celebrates possibility, engages community, fosters innovation and ignites future voices. Strategic Actions: EXCELLENCE by setting the highest artistic standards and best practices in audience engagement, stakeholder relationships and governance. HOW - by investing in culture, creativity and community to inspire more people to explore Theatre Aquarius than ever before. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT by making the arts more accessible by connecting with under-represented communities, promoting a shared passion for the arts while engaging in relevant and meaningful exchange. HOW - through enhanced programming that increases and expands our geographic and demographic reach. COLLABORATION by partnering with various local, national, international art enterprises, community partners, financial and in-kind supporters to promote a deeper understanding of Theatre Aquarius as a vital part of the community. HOW - by strengthening and expanding our mutually beneficial relationships/strategic alliances to reach more members of the community in a way that is valuable and relevant. INCLUSIVITY by striving for greater diversity, equity and inclusion through thoughtful action in our work amongst artists, board membership, staff, volunteers, partners, audiences and community. HOW - We are committed to deconstructing oppressive structures within our organization and within our community. We will operate in an open and transparent way and strive to create experiences where people at all levels of interaction can bring their full selves to the space. SUSTAINABILITY by demonstrating adherence standards of not-for-profit governance, fiscal health and organizational transparency to achieve creative, organizational, environmental and financial success. HOW - by diversifying revenue streams to create more balanced portfolios and by investing in resources to deal with operational capacity issues.