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Theatre Collingwood Receives Community Support to Continue Presenting Safely During the Pandemic

This summer, Theatre Collingwood is set to present The PORCHSIDE Festival.

Theatre Collingwood has received foundation funding in the first quarter of 2021 that will support their efforts to continue presenting theatrical entertainment this year to audiences in South Georgian Bay, and beyond.

The not-for-profit charitable organization received funding from The Henning Foundation ($25,000), The Gord & Lu-Anne Demetrick Legacy Foundation ($1789.83) and to The Weider Foundation ($1000). These family foundations are the legacy of passionate individuals who served their community in many ways and who dedicated their time, talent and enthusiasm to Theatre Collingwood.

"It's no secret that theatre companies worldwide have been hit hard by the pandemic. The basis of what we do is gather people together. More than ever, we need our supporters' help, and these donations have significant impact on our ability to maintain operations during the pandemic", says Erica Angus, Executive Director of Theatre Collingwood.

The professional theatre company has not been able to present shows to live audiences since March 13th, 2020, but they have adapted quickly while Ontario's restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings have evolved during the pandemic. Through government assistance programs and the generosity of member donations, corporate sponsors and foundation support, Theatre Collingwood has been able to engage with audiences in creative new ways. They continue to reach out to the community through their newsletter, What's The Buzz, which encourages subscribers to watch great online performances and keeps them up-to-date on local offerings. They also have a strong social media presence that includes a popular Facebook Live show called The Stage Door, which started as a pilot project with the Town of Collingwood. The online show features local artists and well-known Canadian performers in conversation with Erica Angus, talking about their distinctive careers in the arts. Last fall/winter, Theatre Collingwood presented two online shows: Tom Allen's The Missing Pages and Leisa Way's Rockin' Round The Christmas Tree. The company also produced A Staged Reading of A Christmas Carol, featuring an all-female cast that was live streamed from The Simcoe Street Theatre in Collingwood.

This summer, Theatre Collingwood is set to present The PORCHSIDE Festival. This brand-new outdoor series is guaranteed to be the highlight of the season for culture enthusiasts. The initiative brings eight unique productions into Collingwood's downtown neighbourhoods for live performances by diverse artists, and staged on some of the town's most historic porches.

"Collingwood is a beautiful town in a magnificent location," says Angus. It's not surprising that its founders built majestic homes with outdoor porches to take in the bay and mountain views. Today, the neighbourhoods have built up, but many of the historic homes have been restored. We are excited to share some of these properties with our audiences."

Recognising this is an ever-changing time, more information about the PORCHSIDE Festival will be announced soon. Theatregoers will want to act fast to get tickets because each of the eight shows will run for three performances only. Attendance for each performance will be limited to twenty-five people to maintain social-distancing protocols. Theatre Collingwood has received funding from the Town of Collingwood Community Recreation & Culture Grant ($5000) and Blue Mountain Village Foundation ($1000) to help the company produce this refreshing new festival.

"These community grants provide further assistance for Theatre Collingwood to stay vibrant during the pandemic and so that we can continue to enrich the community with professional live theatre and drama education programs for many more years to come," says Angus.

For nearly forty years, Theatre Collingwood has provided entertainment for local audiences, and has strived to enrich the arts community. The company has fostered great collaborative relationships with independent artists and regional theatre companies. Throughout the struggles of the pandemic Theatre Collingwood has used its time to stay connected with the community, work with The CACE (Collingwood Arts, Culture & Entertainment) Group in developing a plan for a Centre for the Arts, and contributed to a regional arts network being developed through The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay. With continued community support, Theatre Collingwood is looking ahead to a bright future when audiences can gather together and experience live indoor performances once again.

Theatre Collingwood also recognizes support from their Platinum Sponsors: Blue Mountain Resort, TD Bank, EPCOR, Tim Hortons and Locations North Royal LePage.

For more information about upcoming events, please call the Box Office at 705-445-2200 or visit www.theatrecollingwood.ca.


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