Before Brampton’s Rose Theatre opened in 2006, the only theatre catering to the residents of Brampton was the Heritage Theatre on Main. The arrival of the Rose, its name a nod to Brampton’s past as Canada’s centre of flower-exporting, has made world-class entertainment available to Bramptonians in their own city. With state-of-the-art facilities and broadcast capability, residents have a chance to see entertainment otherwise available only in Toronto or other major cities. This has had a positive ripple effect on local business; although the Rose does not currently offer packages, area restaurants gladly pair meal discounts for theatre ticket-carrying patrons.
A majority of the Rose’s patrons are Brampton residents in the 45+ age range, but the theatre also has youth and family programming intended to instill, from a young age, a lifelong love of the arts and an attitude towards the arts as an integral part of a balanced life. Free outdoor summer programs for children, educational events and Arts Adventures are some examples. Contests are another way through which the Rose keeps audiences engaged throughout the year.
When planning each new season, the Rose’s Artistic Programmer Terry Bachtis looks at the previous Fall season, both of what has done well in other markets and what will appeal to the diverse tastes, as represented by feedback from the theatre’s subscribers and overall city demographic, to create a well-rounded season that has a variety of entertainment for everyone. The Rose’s summer theatre series, however, is produced in-house, using local talent. Rock shows, musicals, and and comedy acts have been the Rose’s best-sellers so far. Some big-ticket names that have passed through the Rose are Natalie Cole, Engelbert Humperdink, Rick Springfield, Gino Vinelli, Jann Arden, the Just for Laughs Roadshow, The Color Purple, The Drowsy Chaperone, and the Amazing Kreskin.