From Yesterday to Today
Founded in 1976, ITOPA is a volunteer, non-professional community theatre company. ITOPA is run by a volunteer board of directors who are selected from the membership.
In 1976, a group of people began meeting to explore the possibility of setting up a community theatre. A set of by-laws was drawn up; a name chosen; a logo designed; and ITOPA was incorporated under the Charitable Organizations Act. The first show was a children’s production called “Ready, Steady, Go”. The first adult production was “Barefoot in the Park”, directed by a professional with financial support from Theatre Ontario.
In the fall of 1980, ITOPA moved to its present location, Park Place Theatre, and signed a five year lease the following year. In the spring of 1983, ITOPA received a Wintario grant to cover one-third of the expenses to enlarge the stage and create workspace backstage. The production “Waiting for the Parade” won the Adjudicator’s Award at Festival that year. In January 1986, a major fundraising campaign was launched for making improvements to comply with legislation regarding safety standards.
In 1991, Park Place Theatre was purchased with assistance from the Ministry of Culture and Communication. More renovations were carried out, and in 1995 a new lobby was opened.
In 2011 New seating was installed replacing the 149 original seats in the theatre to provide a more comfortable experience for our patrons at a cost of $ 30,000.00
In 2012 Itopa updated the ticket processing program to “Vendini” to improve the processing of ticket request and making ticket purchases available online at our website, https://www.itopa.ca and be able to email News to our patrons informing them of coming events.
In 2015 the Stair Lift for access from the Lobby to the Theatre was replaced to a newer and more Modern replacing the original 18 year old unit, at a cost of $18K.
In addition over the past 10 years upgrades to the lighting and sound systems for improved performances.
In 2017 a Hearing Assist system was installed with a cost of $2,400 for patrons that require a better experience to hear the actors during a performance.