Visual Arts

Stratford's Factory 163 - an arts-friendly space

Factory 163, located in an old furniture factory at 163 King Street in Stratford's Factory District, is an effort to provide arts-friendly space to the Stratford arts community at large. They are a privately-operated business whose goal is is to develop an economically viable, globally respected green facility where individuals can meet learn, create, promote and showcase creative & innovative ideas, talent and skills and to provide a safe, considerate environment for the exploration of ideas. They aspire to create a cohesive facility where day and night activities and uses are provided for local enterprises, residents, tourists and collaborators. They provide work space for various purposes, gallery space, and open space for events including art exhibitions and performances. Learn more at

Gallery 96, Stratford's oldest artist-run co-operative gallery is a community of practicing artists and supporting members. It was established in 1974 as an artist co-op by visual artists associated with the Stratford Festival; it evolved over time to include local and regional artists. By 1999, the organization had grown and was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit artist-run centre. Ambitious programming and wide support from the membership and community led to the need for a board of directors, a constitution and policy decisions for future planning. From 2002 to 2007, the gallery was located at the Discovery Centre adjacent to the Festival Theatre. In 2008, Gallery 96 moved its office and main gallery space to Factory 163. Today, it operates as a guerilla gallery - finding gallery space in and around Stratford that is appropriate for its exhibitions and events according to their concepts.

Gallery 96 offers exhibitions of local and out-of-town artists and workshops for artists and to the general public. Current members include Valerie O'Flynn, Erik Sansom, Darlean Morris, Glenn Elliott, Elisabeth Feryn, Gloria Kagawa, Kathi Posliff, Bonnie Steinman, Wendy Orr, Wendy O'Brien, Michelle Salter, Nancy Groenestege, Lesley Walker-Fitzpatrick.

The gallery seeks support from the general public and you can become a supporting member for only $50 a year. Contact Gallery 96 at PO Box 21108, Stratford, Ontario, N5A 7V4. Visit their website at

mini_off_the_wall_logo.jpgOff the Wall, the Stratford Artist Alliance is also a tenant at Factory 163. This group includes many highly skilled desigers and artisans who have been associated with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, including Susan Benson, Ken Dubblestyne, Glenn Elliott, Desmond Heeley, Frank Holte, Lisa Hughes, Marion Isherwood, John Pennoyer and Susan Starkweather. Off the Wall offers workshops and classes in topics as diverse as theatrical design, propmaking and costuming to computer animation. Find out more at

Gallery 96 History by Michelle Salter

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