What Is a Relaxed Performance?
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Relaxed Performances are intended to be sensitive to and welcoming of neurodiverse audiences, including patrons on the autism spectrum, those with sensory and communication disorders, people with learning disabilities, or those who simply want a more relaxed concert experience.
These performances differ from other TSO concerts in a number of ways:
- If patrons need to move around, express themselves vocally or leave the concert hall, they are welcome to.
- Audience members will have advance access to a Venue Guide that details the concert experience, step by step, in order to reduce anxiety about it, and a concert-specific fact sheet with detailed information about the performance itself.
- Three rows of seats at the back of the hall will be kept empty should guests wish to move away from the sound of the Orchestra on stage.
- Patrons will have access to a quiet room furnished with comfortable seating, stress-relieving fidgets, and relaxing activities.
- The TSO will provide other resources, such as sound-dampening headphones, that can be signed out before the concert and returned afterward.
- Specialized training will be provided to musicians, TSO staff, and front-of-house personnel at Roy Thomson Hall by Relaxed Performance Consultant Rachel Marks.
For more information about accessible seating, discounts for support persons, and other accommodations please call our dedicated phone line for Relaxed Performances at 416.598.5099.
Feedback on Our Previous Relaxed Performance
- “As an advocate for all parents who have a child with challenges, having the opportunity to attend a high-calibre performance without the stress and worry about our child’s behaviour and judgment by others is very, very important.”
- “You probably did that for the kids, but most of us parents don’t have a chance to go to the theatre, opera, ballet, and concerts because it’s very hard to find qualified help for our children, so today was a gift for me as well. And to share that with my daughter who was in awe for the whole time, barely breathing, was a gift that I will never forget.”
- “This show has deepened our connection to the TSO. Without a doubt, we will be life-long TSO patrons. Please host events like this again. What the TSO created was magical. The world needs more inclusive, compassion, and loving spaces. Thank you for creating this one.”
- "Words can truly not express how much this show meant to our family. I cried tears of joy, gratitude, and relief as I looked around the venue and saw people free to be themselves. I felt so grateful to be in an inclusive, loving space where my son could be himself and no one would judge our family for not always being able to follow all the social norms/expectations.”