About us

“A rogue brace of creative spirits” — Toronto Star

“…smashes the boundaries between disciplines and leaves them sprawled out on the mat, down for the count.”— Musicworks


Urbanvessel creates new performance works through interdisciplinary collaboration. Rooted in music and sound, the power of the human voice is at the heart of our creative process. Led by Artistic Director  Juliet Palmer and drawing upon the diverse talents of our collaborators, Urbanvessel fuses sound, music, text, imagery and movement. Urbanvessel shares knowledge through our educational programmes and community outreach activities.

Urbanvessel‘s works are inspired by disparate impulses: from sound, politics, fetishes, history and ritual, to poverty, architecture, music and sports. Our creative response to the source material is filtered through an inclusive feminist perspective. A new interdisciplinary team is formed for each project, organized horizontally so that artistic decisions are made collaboratively. Our methodology combines improvisation and composition in tandem with an inclusive process for critical feedback and revision.

Urbanvessel was founded in 2006 by Palmer and architect Christie PearsonWorks include: UKIYO, FLOATING WORLD (Ongaku Festival, Toronto, 2019); ON THE BRINK (Arts in the Parks, Mimico, 2017); SWEAT (Center for Contemporary Opera & National Sawdust, New York, 2016); BOOTS (Opera Peepshow, 2016); SINGING RIVER (Pan Am Path, 2015; Arts in the Parks & Waterfront Toronto, 2016); ROAD MAP (with MABELLEarts, 2014); FIRE ON THE WATER (Sunnyside Pavilion with TheWaves Collective, 2012); VOICE-BOX (Harbourfront World Stage 2010, Fresh Ground New Work commission); STITCH (Freefall Festival/World Stage 2008); SLIP for the Harrison Baths (X Avant Festival, Toronto 2006); SLIP (2008 BRAVO Fact! film); and THE PROVINCE OF IMPOSSIBLE (Voice++ Festival, Open Space Arts, Victoria 2007; Sound Symposium 2008; Ottawa Chamber Music Festival).

Urbanvessel is based in Tkaronto, the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabek, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. The territory is governed by Treaty 13 and is subject to the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek Confederacies and allies to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

Urbanvessel Performing Arts Inc. is an Incorporated Non-Profit Organization.

Board of Directors: Caroline Hollway, Elizabeth Rucker and Keith McNair

Artistic Advisor: Christie Pearson

Photo: Saajid Motala