Rent the Orpheum

Orpheum auditorium with grand piano on stage

Located at the corner of Smithe and Seymour Streets, the Orpheum, at 2,672 seats, is one of Canada's largest concert halls. The Orpheum is home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. A historical gem in the heart of Vancouver, the Orpheum hosts Canadian and international musicians, lecture series, and unique events.

A 360-degree view of the Orpheum



  Standard seats Wheelchair spaces
Orchestra 1,442 12
Balcony and dress circle 1,027 4
Total 2,672 16

Seating plan

Rental fees

Rates effective September 1, 2016 – August 31, 2017 

Rates effective September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018

Stage dimensions

  • Stage enclosure: Stage is enclosed within a permanent plaster orchestra shell with a crossover tunnel behind from stage left to right
  • Proscenium opening: 57' w × 40' h (17.37m × 12.19m)
    • Note: Clear plexiglass acoustic baffles suspended at height of 27' (8.23 m) above down stage apron, within the Proscenium perimeter.
  • Centre stage to stage right shell wall: 28' (8.53 m)
  • Centre stage to stage left shell wall: 28' (8.53 m)
  • Stage Depth: 42' (12.8 m)
    • Note: 10' (3.048 m) of the down stage apron is undesirable for use as a performing area due to restricted sight lines from balcony.

Stage equipment

  • Large inventory of risers (8”, 16”, and 24”) with steps and skirts
  • Orchestra chairs, stands, stools, podiums, lecterns, and tables
  • Carpets and cable mats
  • Choir bleachers
  • Selection of hanging pipes

Stage floor

  • Maple - no stage traps or stage elevators
  • Screwing and drilling into floor allowed subject to approval


  • 1 Steinway “D” piano
  • 1 Yamaha upright (for warm up and rehearsals on 4th floor, and can be moved to stage)

Tuning is charged to licensee. 


1st proscenium side booms

  • 12 - S4 par each side (separate circuits)

2nd proscenium side booms

  • 12 - S4 par each side (separate circuits)

Dressing rooms

  • 10 star dressing rooms
  • Two chorus rooms

Stage right

  • Principal artist dressing room (includes toilet, sink and Internet access, shower on level 1)
  • Two dressing rooms on level 2 (includes toilet and sink in each room with shared shower in hallway)

Stage left

  • Two dressing rooms on level 1 (includes toilet and sink in each room with shared shower in hallway) - only accessible by stairs
  • Two dressing rooms on level 2 (includes toilet and sink in each room with shared shower in hallway) - elevator access available


  • One star dressing room (includes two makeup stations, toilet, sink, and shower)
  • Two soloist dressing rooms (each includes four makeup stations and shower, with shared toilet and sink)
  • One men's chorus dressing room (includes 19 makeup stations, toilet, sink, and shower)
  • One women's chorus dressing room (includes 19 makeup stations, toilet, sink, and shower)
  • One green room (includes six makeup stations, fridge, sink, and microwave)
  • One accessible washroom with shower
  • All rooms are accessible by elevator
  • All rooms have Internet access (ADSL)
  • All rooms have mirrors and makeup lights

Rehearsal and catering room

  • Located above the stage on the fourth floor
  • Size: 29½' × 62½' × 14' h (8.99 m × 19.05 m × 4.27 m)
  • Has adjoining kitchen
  • Available with a reservation


  • One wardrobe room (includes washer, dryer, steamer irons, and boards) located in the basement
  • Available only if staffed by a local crew member

Technical data

View loading and unloading information, detailed technical specifications, and a theatre equipment list  (6 MB)

For more information, email the Orpheum Head Carpenter Paul McManus at

Terms and conditions

Time allowance

Standard rental time allowance is not to exceed five hours. This includes one hour before curtain time.

An additional allowance of up to five hours on the day of performance is allowed for set-up or stage rehearsal. This time cannot conflict with other scheduled events.

Any additional set-up or stage rehearsal time before 5:00 pm will be charged at $505 per hour.

When a performance continues beyond the five hours, you will be subject to additional rental fees of 20% of the evening performance rental fee

Stage use

If stage use interferes with another event being scheduled, rental rates may apply. 

Backstage room use

At the discretion of the director, a licensee may use the Orpheum's rehearsal room, recital hall, and green room leading up to and during the performance.

Any additional costs arising from this room use by the licensee – such as stage crew, stage door attendants, or building service workers – will be charged to the licensee.

Stage crew

A stage carpenter and lighting console operator are provided for the event for up to eight hours in any one day (included in the rental). Any extra time is chargeable to the licensee.

All other stage crew services are subject to fees and are to be paid at the time of performance to IATSE Local 118.

First Aid attendant

British Columbia Workers' Compensation Board regulations require the presence of an Occupational First Aid Attendant, Level II, whenever the employer's workforce exceeds 50 people.


At the discretion of the director, some licensees may be required to give a damage deposit of at least $2,000 and provide security personnel (defined as uniformed police or licensed security firm personnel).

Facility fee 

To support Civic Theatres capital improvements, a facility fee will be applied per ticket or per person for events that aren't ticketed. See the Seating and fees tab for the fee amount.

Where a grant in lieu of rent is given by City Council, the grant cannot be applied to the facility fee.

The facility fee may be applied to events of any kind where there is no price attached to the ticket, or where there are no ticket sales, such as meetings, church services, lectures, presentations, and graduations. It will be pre-collected prior to the event, based on an estimated attendance count as stated on Schedule A of the Theatre License Agreement.

A limit of up to 10% of the total number of tickets taken at the door may be complimentary and exempt from the facility fee.

All tickets must have a printed price and complimentary tickets must be stamped accordingly. If tickets are not stamped as complimentary, they will be counted as regular tickets for the purpose of assessing the facility fee.

The facility fee is collected at:

  • Commercial box offices (Ticketmaster, Tickets Tonight), where it is collected per ticket sold and remitted
  • All other events, where it is pre-collected before the event based on an estimated attendance count as stated in Schedule A of the Theatre License Agreement

This fee is subject to change without notice.

Ticketing policy

All audience members are required to have a ticket, including children, regardless of the child's age. All tickets must have a printed price and complimentary tickets much be stamped accordingly.

Rental deposit

A non-refundable, non-transferrable rental deposit of $4,000 plus tax per performance period or setup day is required.

The rental deposit is non-refundable, non-transferrable, and subject to applicable taxes.

In the event of cancellation, if the theatre is subsequently rented by another licensee on the same date, 50% of the deposit may be refunded at the discretion of the director.

The deposit can be paid by cheque, bank draft, or major credit card.

The City of Vancouver charges a $20 administrative fee for cheques presented in payment but returned as non-negotiable.

Mandatory insurance

  • A certificate of Public Liability Insurance
  • A certificate of Property Damage Insurance
  • Minimum coverage of $5 million per event
  • List the City of Vancouver as the additional insured
  • Insurance can be arranged with the theatre staff

Special setup charges

We reserve the right to make additional charges for special seat setups, stage, electrical, audio or utility services, including performance recordings.

Electronic tape or broadcast

Television and radio broadcasts are permitted by prior arrangement only.

We reserve the right to charge a fee for this service.

There is a separate payment of $1,500 per event for rights to record a stage event for commercial purposes.

The licensee must inform patrons - at the time of their ticket purchase - of the intent to record the performance.

Film and photo shoots

The fee for video, film and photo shoots is $6,450.

The fee during irregular hours is $515 per hour.

Additional fees apply when large groups are involved in film shoots.

Additional fees may apply for staff and crew costs (with a four-hour minimum).

Temporary seating

The director may permit additional temporary seating, with the setup and take down fees at the licensee's expense.

The number of seats added is subject to the approval of the Vancouver Fire Department.

Use of hazardous materials in Vancouver Civic Theatres

Substance regulations

Government of Canada legislation requires that the use of "controlled" products in our theatres shall comply with the rules under WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System). Controlled products include:

  • Compressed Gas
  • Flammable and Combustible Material
  • Oxidizing Material
  • Poisonous and Infectious Material
  • Corrosive Material
  • Dangerously Reactive Material

WHMIS regulations require that:

  • Anyone using controlled products in the workplace must be informed as to its safe storage, handling, use, and disposal.
  • All containers of controlled products must have warning labels attached that meet regulation requirements.
  • A MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for any controlled product must be available and be maintained in the immediate work area.

Some substances such as explosives, radioactive materials, and tobacco are covered under separate regulations. Smoking in our theatres, for example, is restricted under our Civic Bylaws to designated areas only within our building perimeter.

Occupational health and safety regulations

Asbestos in the workplace

Government of British Columbia legislation and regulations prohibit the use of asbestos materials in the workplace where such use would have the potential risk that asbestos particles could be inhaled into workers' lungs.

The authority for the establishment of the Industrial Health & Safety Regulations is found in Section 71(1) of the Workers' Compensation Act. Further, Section 75(2) of the Act states: "Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with a regulation or order under Section 71 commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or to imprisonment not exceeding 3 months, or to both." [This amount has changed with the addition of C.P.I. increases over the years and now is roughly $32,000 (January 1992).]

These regulations, in particular, prohibit the use of asbestos cloth and asbestos covered electrical cords including lamp extensions on stage lighting equipment.

In order to fully comply with these regulations, such hazardous materials shall not, under any circumstances, be admitted onto the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Orpheum, or Vancouver Playhouse premises.

Please advise your appropriate technical staff and/or equipment rental companies of the above, and make them aware of the severe government penalties involved for failure to comply.

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