Our Story

Carousel Theatre for Young People (CTYP)  is a gathering place for artists, young people and families to embark on a journey where imagination, a dash of magic and an abundance of play are the recipe for a theatrical adventure that has lasting impact. We have been creating theatre for young people since our inception in 1976. Located on Granville Island in the heart of Vancouver, CTYP is Vancouver’s mainstage TYA company.

  • Playfulness
  • Accessibility
  • Artistic Integrity
  • Empathy
  • Mentorship
  • Community

Our vision: to empower young people through the magic of theatre.

Young People are not simply audience members at CTYP; they are active participants at the very centre of all that we do.

Under the vision of Artistic Director Carole Higgins, CTYP stages vibrant stories that engage young people from the beginning of their development, and which challenge them through their formative years, empowering them to become agents of positive change. Carole’s vision Stages of Play encompasses a full season of theatrical activities that celebrates stories that explore rites of passage on our Family Stage at the Waterfront Theatre, explores Shakespeare’s canon through a contemporary lens every summer with our Teen Shakespeare Stage, and explores original sensory creations for the very young with our BEE Stage.

CTYP’s year-round drama school teaches young people ages 3-17 to express their creativity and individuality through the theatrical form.

Our playful approach to creation and collaboration, unwavering commitment to outstanding production values and attentiveness to mentoring emerging theatre artists are key principals of our artistic practice. A testament to the artistic quality of the productions we create, CTYP’s pursuit of excellence has been recognized with 95 Jessie nominations and 13 awards in the last ten years.

In 2018, CTYP teamed with Boca Del Lupo to cofound the Granville Island Theatre District, with the shared vision to create a robust, diverse, theatre ecology in the heart of Vancouver. The GITD oversees three performance venues on Granville Island, with CTYP as artistic stewards of the Waterfront Theatre, which is now Vancouver’s first performance venue dedicated to youth and family programming.

Young people can change the world, and we believe theatre empowers them to do so.


Awards for CTYP and our Artists

 *All Jessie Awards are in the Theatre for Young Audiences Category, unless otherwise noted.

2019- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
8 Jessie nominations including outstanding production TYA for Elephant and Piggie’s We Are in a Play

2018- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
6 Jessie nominations including outstanding production TYA for The Velveteen Rabbit

2017- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
7 Jessie Nominations including outstanding production TYA for the world premiere of On My Walk

2016- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
5 Jessie Nominations including outstanding production TYA and Significant Artistic Achievement in TYA for audience engagement for Dot and Ziggy

2014- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
Busytown, Outstanding Production
Drew Facey, Outstanding Artistic Achievement (Body of Work- Production Design, Busytown, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Celestial Being, Greenthumb Theatre, Extra Celeste, Theatre Le Seizieme)

2012- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
Drew Facey, Outstanding Design (Set and Costumes), Aesop’s Fables

2011- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
Heidi Wilkinson, Outstanding Design (Set and Properties), Bird Brain
Al Frisk, Jeff Harrison, Yulia Shtern, Jeff Tymoschuk, Heidi Wilkinson, Significant Artistic Achievement (Outstanding Design Team), Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire
Carole Higgins, Outstanding Artistic Creation (Direction), Bird Brain
Outstanding Production, Bird Brain

2010- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
Darren Burkett, Janet Gigliotti, Kaylee Harwood, Todd Talbot, Allan Zinyk, Outstanding Performance, A Year With Frog and Toad
Heidi Wilkinson, Outstanding Design (Body of Work), Love you Forever…and More Munsch (Set, Puppet and Props); The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Props); A Year With Frog and Toad (Set and Props)
Gordon Roberts, Outstanding Artistic Creation (Musical Direction), A Year With Frog and Toad
Outstanding Production, A Year With Frog and Toad

2008- Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
Outstanding Production, Seussical (Also received the Canada Council Prize for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences)
Steven Greenfield, Outstanding Artistic Creation (Musical Direction), Seussical
Allan Zinyk, Outstanding Performance, Seussical

 2007 – Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences, The Odyssey (Also received the Canada Council Prize for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences)

2006 – Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards 
Carole Higgins, Outstanding Artistic Creation (direction), The Big League
Alexa Dubreuil, Josh Dickson, Nathan Schwartz, Chris Van Hyfte, Significant Artistic Achievement (acting ensemble), The Big League