Founded in 1988 by Chilean born director Lina de Guevara, PUENTE Theatre Society aims to bridge cultures through entertainment, giving people who live in Victoria the opportunity to learn about and gain respect for the cultural heritage that immigrants bring with them.
PUENTE Theatre’s aspirational goals are:
- To offer work and creative development opportunities to immigrant artists;
- To create a multi-ethnic network of immigrant artists and resources, designed to attract and engage newcomers;
- To develop Canadian audiences, and educate them about aspects of the immigrant experience;
- To expose Canadian audiences to works from other cultures;
- To expose immigrant artists to Canadian theatre;
- To build community through collaborative projects;
- To act as information resource for other organizations and agencies regarding theatrical entertainment from other cultures, and
- To use theatre to explore social issues including, but not limited to, those relating to race and culture.
These goals are met through activities like:
- The creation, production and performance of theatrical works exploring and relating the experiences of immigrants to Canada;
- The translation, production and performance of theatrical works from other cultures;
- Touring locally developed projects for provincial, national and international audiences;
- Presenting alternate forms of theatre, such as workshop productions, readings, and Forum performances, to facilitate dialogue on community issues;
- Supporting and encouraging the participation of immigrant theatre people in the Canadian theatre scene through workshops, training courses, mentorships and other programs.
- The active communication and invitation of theatre personalities from other countries for local workshops and trainings.
PUENTE Theatre Society works closely with many intercultural, immigrant and refugee associations In Victoria as well as arts organizations that are interested in diversity, and is in demand by local schools, Camosun College and the University of Victoria for presentations promoting diversity, anti-racism and multicultural education. This unique focus takes PUENTE beyond simple entertainment into the sphere of social activism and promotion of understanding between all people.