There are some documents that you are legally required to hold on to - for those details, see our page on Archiving.
When storing documents, you will want to ensure that your storage space is climate controlled to prevent paper from damage. Also, any documents that contain information that is legally considered private and personal must be securely stored. This can be as simple as a locked cabinet in your home. Take the time to review Canadian Privacy Laws to understand your responsibilities and legal obligations as a producer.
If you are remounting a show or have a touring repertoire, it’s a good idea to keep your items in storage in order to be cost-effective (and avoid buying them again!). Ensure that you have a storage space that is climate controlled to maintain the integrity of costumes, set pieces and props. Especially avoid damp spaces that may be vulnerable to mould.
Depending on how much space you need and where you’re located, storage can be pretty expensive. Take into consideration the cost of replacing or rebuilding a set. If it’s small and easy to replace, spending around $100-$300 a month for a space in downtown Toronto doesn’t make much sense.
Here are some links to storage spaces to give you an idea of pricing. Most of these are national companies, so you can get a broad sense of the potential costs:
You also want to consider access. There are often cheaper options outside of a major city — but if the location isn't easy to get to, and you don’t have access to a vehicle, this can be more trouble than it’s worth.
It may be worth considering sharing storage space with a similar sized company. Often this can be an easy solution. The Toronto Fringe used to have storage lockers rented by smaller companies for reduced fees. If you can find a storage buddy it can save you a great deal of money.
- Re-purposed shipping containers can be a good alternative sometimes, (see this article on Shipping Containers as storage), but once again location can become a challenge
- Basements, garages, spare bedrooms, closets... There are many spaces that could be used for storage. In the end, it is up to you to decide what your project or company needs are.
When considering a location, ask yourself:
- How much does it cost?
- How much space does it offer?
- Is it easy for me to access?
- How secure is it?
- Who else has access?
- How safe from the elements is it?
- Is it insured?
- What will I be keeping there?
- How valuable are those items to me/my company? Or: How easy/difficult will it be to replace those items?