About Us

Four of the five co-founders of Ground Floor. L to R: Tahirih Vejdani, Amelia Sargisson, Alexis Gordon, Richard Lam. Not pictured (but felt in spirit): Dave Ball.

Our story

Ground Floor was co-founded in 2021 by five theatre artists who came together to explore the question "how can we make the theatre industry a healthier place to work?"

With that very large question in mind, co-founders Tahirih Vejdani, Amelia Sargisson, Richard Lam, Alexis Gordon, and Dave Ball spent a year speaking to experts on care, social justice, and empathetic practice. Together, they searched for ways to circumvent traditional patterns of harm in the theatre industry and forge new paths for creating deeply embodied work. The solution they came up with is ARCS - a guided process for beginning new collaborations from a place of curiosity, empathy, and support. 

ARCS launched in 2022 and was immediately embraced by the theatre community. At the same time, Ground Floor began running a Two-Way Mentorship program, which connects emerging and established theatre artists in a multi-generational, bilateral exchange of ideas and information. In 2023, the team also created TINK: a one-day theatre creation accelerator inspired by the hack-a-thons of the tech world. 

All of Ground Floor's human-centred programs seek to foster more candour, curiosity and compassion in the raw, messy, vulnerable pursuit of learning and working together.

Originally supported through Talk Is Free theatre's Artist Basic Income Guarantee program, Ground Floor is now proud to be a standalone organization, continuing its mission of connecting people and supporting healthier collaborations in the theatre and beyond. 

Where we've worked

Ground Floor has worked with many of Canada's leading theatre companies and training institutions, including:

The Ground Floor Team