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National Theatre School of Canada Receives Historic $1.5M Donation from The Slaight Family Foundation

The Slaight family has been the School’s largest donor for more than 30 years.

National Theatre School of Canada Receives Historic $1.5M Donation from The Slaight Family Foundation

The National Theatre School of Canada received a $1.5M donation from the Slaight Family Foundation - the largest in the School's 62 year history. NTS is one of 22 nationally recognized beneficiaries who have received support as part of a $15M initiative by the Foundation to help revive the Canadian theatre industry post-pandemic.

"We are beyond grateful to the Slaight Family Foundation for this sizable gift and for their generous support over the years," said Fanny Pagé, CEO of The National Theatre School. "These funds will help us continue to support the needs of Canadian theatre by providing incomparable training to actors, directors, playwrights, designers and production professionals, as well as our mission to make theatre more accessible to all Canadians. It will go a long way to ensuring a vibrant and healthy future for the performing arts in this country, and we're very excited for what's to come."

Through the generosity of Gary Slaight and his late mother, Ada Slaight, the Slaight family has been the School's largest donor for more than 30 years. Over decades, Ada Slaight was pivotal in funding many valuable educational programs and creative projects at NTS - from trips to the Shaw Festival and Stratford Festival, to professional headshots for the School's incredible graduates. Ada also supported NTS' students with bursaries and prizes, one of which was rightfully named after her: the Ada Slaight Prize. This prize continues to be awarded to this day to a graduating student who demonstrates leadership and empathy while working with colleagues in both official languages. Today's donation only further emphasizes the value Ada saw in the School, and will allow NTS to continue providing world-class education and opportunities to students and faculty.

"The forced closure of theatres because of the pandemic has devastated the theatre industry," said Gary Slaight, President and CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation. "Even now, with audiences nervous to return since reopening, we are still seeing shows being rescheduled and cancelled, sometimes the same day. We're very happy to support these organizations so they can focus on the work of creating and bringing back audiences."

NTS is a proud leader in providing inclusive and diverse arts education in both the Canadian school system, through DramaFest, and the theatre community at-large. With a strong track record of graduates finding successful careers in the theatre industry in Canada and around the world, NTS is proud to be a prime example of how arts in Canada has persevered and overcome pandemic-related challenges. This funding only shines a brighter light on the future.

For more information on The National Theatre School, please visit:

About The National Theatre School of Canada

Founded in 1960, The National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is recognized as a leading institution for anyone wishing to pursue a career as a playwright, director, actor, set and costume designer, or production professional, and offers incomparable training for artists of all kinds. The NTS is unique: It offers incomparable, high-level training for artists of all kinds in all aspects of the theatre arts, in both French and English. Many of its 2,000 graduates are among Canada's most active and versatile artists and designers, and the School's influence is felt from coast to coast and across the world.

About The Slaight Family Foundation

Since 2013, The Slaight Family Foundation has funded several strategic initiatives to multiple organizations. These initiatives started with gifts to five Toronto hospitals to support priority healthcare issues, followed by programs to address global humanitarianism, the healthy development of children and youth across Canada, support for Indigenous issues, a seniors' initiative to help keep seniors in their homes and communities, supporting mental health challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently support for women and girls at risk in Canada. This gift of $15 million brings the collective support for these strategic initiatives to $185 million.

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight (1931-2021), known as Canada's broadcast pioneer, was a leader in the music industry and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth international development, social services and culture. Allan's son, Gary Slaight, oversees the foundation as President & CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation.

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