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Tapestry Opera’s production of Of the Sea. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

We did some small things that were new, and put many things we were already doing under the heading of Level UP! (flexible work hours and location, parental leave policies). But these are small steps to address a deep and glaring gap in process, budgets, and culture that exist much more broadly in the sector. The good news is that these small steps went a long way towards making artists feel seen and appreciated; the bad news is that the bar is so low so the work is ongoing.

Jaime Martino

Executive Director, Tapestry Opera

Tapestry Opera

Tapestry Opera

Compassion Fund for Artists and Arts Workers

Level UP! Strategy Area: Compassion Fund

Pilot Project: Developed a Compassion Fund for contracted artists and arts workers

Project Duration: June 2022 – April 2023

Continuing to Implement: Yes

Resources Shared: Project Field Notes, Compassion Fund Email Offer, Pilot Childcare and Parental Leave Policy

About Tapestry Opera

Location: Ontario
Artistic Discipline: Opera
Operating Budget: More than $1,000,000

Tapestry Opera is an award-winning Toronto-based company that is dedicated to creating, developing and performing new works of opera. We have a mandate to create powerful opera that reflects and changes the world around us, bringing together art forms, creators, and communities to create boundary-pushing work. Founded in 1979, Tapestry supports emerging artists, develops new audiences and brings Canadian opera to the world stage.

Tapestry Opera’s Level UP! Project

Tapestry Opera, in partnership with Obsidian Theatre, developed a Compassion Fund for contracted artists and arts workers for Of The Sea by Kanika Ambrose, co-produced with Obsidian Theatre at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto, March 25–April 1, 2023. Tapestry Opera concurrently instigated a Childcare and Parental Leave Policy pilot.

Project Highlights:

    • Aimed to respond to the potential wellness needs of artists within a production with difficult content through the Compassion Fund
    • Used a “percentage of budget” approach to support the fund—3% of the full artistic budget is allocated to the Compassion Fund across all productions


Tapestry Opera | Compassionate Fund Email Offer

About This Resource Obsidian Theatre Company and Tapestry Opera created this Compassionate Fund Email Offer template in 2023 as part of their Balancing Act Level UP! Pilot Projects. The email was sent out to contracted artists and arts workers prior to the...

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Tapestry Opera | Pilot Childcare and Parental Leave Policy

About This Resource Tapestry Opera created this Pilot Childcare and Parental Leave Policy in 2022, following their Balancing Act Level UP! Pilot Project. The policy is a succinct document that includes strategic goals and outlines policies for parental leave and child...

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More Information

For more information about Tapestry Opera, visit tapestryopera.com.

Click here to view more resources created by Level UP! Strategy Partners.