Open Space

The National Ballet of Canada’s Open Space programme provides over 1,500 hours of free studio space each year at The Walter Carsen Centre to dance artists in Toronto. By sharing the National Ballet’s studios with the local dance community, Open Space aims to support a wide variety of dance genres and disciplines. Dance artists at any place in their career working on movement research, a new creation or further developing an existing work are all encouraged to apply. We encourage applications from IBPOC and LGBTQ+ artists.

The selections are made by an advisory committee. Applications for studio space in November and December 2022 will be reviewed by a committee made up of the National Ballet’s Choreographic Associate and Curator and Producer, CreativAction and Special Initiatives Robert Binet, Artistic Director of Nova Dance Nova Bhattacharya and Artistic Director of ZahraMoves Zahra Badua. Applications for studio space from January-June 2023 will be reviewed by Robert Binet, Nova Bhattacharya and Artistic Director of Esie Mensah Creations, Esie Mensah. The advisory committee changes each season and in the past has included Alysa PiresRodney DiverlusHanna KielKevin A. Ormsby and Anisa Tejpar.

Artists have the option of applying for full days in our studio (eight hours) or half days (four hours). Also, a new Open Space bursary will provide successful applicants with $180 for each full day or $90 for each half day spent in the studio.


  • Open Space is available for periods of five to seven days or ten to fourteen days
  • The days may not follow a typical Monday to Friday schedule
  • The studios will generally be available from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm on weekends
  • There is a cap of 20 participants per group
  • All participants must sign a waiver and release form
  • All participants must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and abide by all National Ballet health and safety protocols

Studio Space:

  • The studio spaces available for Open Space are those used by the National Ballet for rehearsals and therefore only non-marking footwear is permitted. Due to the sprung floor and vinyl surface, any footwear that creates high impact in a small area (i.e. stiletto heels) is not permitted as it could permanently damage the floor
  • Sound equipment and pianos are available for rehearsal purposes
  • No A/V or large equipment or set pieces permitted in the studios
  • No overnight storage permitted

Open Space applications are now closed for the 2022/2023 season. Application deadlines for the 2023/2024 season will be announced in summer 2023.

The Walter Carsen Centre is a fully vaccinated environment, and all Open Space Program participants are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Although not required, boosters are strongly recommended. Masks are no longer required in common areas or the studios. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell or showing any signs of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding.

If you have any questions about Open Space, please email