After-Work Special

Culture Pack is the Ultimate Way to Experience Toronto’s Arts and Culture Scene  

Dates are picked, dinner is planned, drinks are covered – all you have to do is show up.

Culture Pack is bringing us back to the good old elementary school days full of museum field trips and theatre outings. Toronto is full of incredible arts and culture experiences from the ballet to foreign films and beyond. However, it can be intimidating (and quite expensive) to try and explore everything the city has to offer as an adult, especially if you’re doing it alone.

Culture Pack co-founder Robert Barnard and advisory committee member Laura Deliakis stepped in to make the experience a little less daunting and create a community of young professionals who could explore a curated version of the city’s arts and culture scene together.

“We wanted to create something that would make arts and culture much more accessible, exciting, and interesting for that young professional group in Toronto,” Barnard says.

It’s a way for people to get involved in the arts beyond just going to see a random show here and there. Culture Pack allows younger Torontonians the ability to immerse themselves in local events while being financially responsible thanks to the company’s exclusive discounts. The pack also includes pre or post events where group members can get to know each other, meet performers, and discuss the experiences over some of the city’s most unique culinary offerings. It’s a no-brainer for a solo night out, date night, or fun activity with friends.

“It’s three opportunities in a season for me to engage with things I know a little bit about, like the ballet, or discover something completely new and ditch the barrier,” Deliakis says.

“Like some other young women in Toronto, I started taking ballet as a young child and grew up with dance as a big part of my youth,” Deliakis says. Part of Deliakis’s early exposure to dance was her and her mother’s tradition of attending the ballet. “I had an opportunity to fall in love with it but I would never have been able to do that without going with my mom.”

Barnard says Culture Pack is geared toward people like Deliakis – people who have a desire to attend these shows but a busy work life and a budget to stick to.

Barnard says he worked on a similar project nearly 15 years ago, before all the current capabilities of the web. “We ran it for a couple years and that felt like enough,” he says, “but the need was still there.”

Over a decade later, the Culture Track study proved that young professionals still aren’t attending the arts as much as the arts organizations would like them to. So, with Bernard’s past experience, Deliakis’s personal expertise, and a lot more technological innovation, they relaunched the idea.

When he considered galvanizing this idea, Barnard says he thought: “What can we create that would just be an amazing offer for [young professionals] so they’re contributing to the arts yet they feel they’re getting so much for themselves that they don’t even know they’re contributing to the arts.” With the behind the scenes looks, special meet and greets, and access to incredible shows, there’s no doubt buying into a Culture Pack offers far more than a standard ticket to any one of these events.

Barnard and Deliakis say they try to have a variety of events in each pack. The inaugural Fall/Winter pack includes a Soulpepper production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Orpheus Alive at the National Ballet of Canada, and the exhibit “Wild” at the Textile Museum of Canada. Tickets are available for $200 but this week only they’ll be on sale for $150.