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The Dreadful Fundraiser


Business No: 899324263RR0001

The Dreadful Fundraiser

The Future of the Night of Dread Festival is in doubt and your help is needed urgently.

For the first time in 23 years, we need to ask for your help to cover the costs of the Night of Dread Festival* 

Your support will make a “Dreadful” event into an unforgettable community ritual. 

“The Night of Dread Festival is OUR event,” is a regular refrain we hear from community members. And indeed it is.

 Your generosity will have a direct impact on community well-being.

We’ll continue to work with local artists and our Dufferin Grove and Davenport community members to create a moving, shared experience that brings people together. 

And now, more than ever, we need to continue to name and call out our fears for ourselves and the world through art and community solidarity.

How you can help save the Night of Dread Festival when you Donate to our Fundraising Campaign

We need your help to raise $10,000 to cover the Night of Dread Festival costs of:

  • Artist facilitators (for this year’s Lantern Making Workshops & Drop-in Open Studio sessions)
  • Workshops and pageant/puppet-making supplies and materials
  • Designers and puppet builders who create the images for the pageant and fix old puppets and rig all of them for the final evening's performance
  • Puppet Masters (our C&P artist associates) who help guide and coach all puppeteers 
  • Event producers who ensure that all the Festival programming is organized professionally and effectively 
  • Outreach person to work with volunteers and to manage all communications around the final pageant
  • Onsite key event production people to supervise artists and volunteers and guide pageant rehearsals and prep 
  • Truck rental and gas for transportation of all puppets, props and elements from park performance site back to storage 
  • To pay the pageant artists, including bands and musicians, stilter, dancers 
  • Post-show work to disassemble and prepare all puppets, props, costumes and other elements for storage 

What’s the bigger picture? 

The Night of Dread Festival has never received any project funding from any arts council or foundation. For 22 years of the event’s existence, Clay and Paper Theatre has cobbled together the budget for the Night of Dread Festival from revenue from pay-what-you-can summer and fall events and from other jobs or gigs we may have been hired for. Also, we’re a smaller arts organisation that has been chronically underfunded for a very long time. Our margins are pretty slim to begin with. And we’ve always been incredibly clever with what little we have, making it go much, much farther than seems possible. Our yearly audits clearly demonstrate how incredibly disciplined and responsible we’ve been with all of our income and funding.

But everything has its limits and we have reached ours. 

The growing challenges include:

  • As our funding has shrunk or remained stagnant, costs have risen, and so we have continued to slip farther behind with what little we have, and we are unable to keep up producing the types of events that you have grown used to seeing from us over the last 28 years.
  • This has been exacerbated by C&P falling through all of the Federal and Provincial Emergency Arts Funding cracks during the pandemic.
  • Revenue from pay-what-you-can summer performances has also gone down because of the multi-year effect of the pandemic. Also, especially during these challenging times, we have continued to try to reduce as many financial barriers as possible for audiences and participants trying to access arts experiences.
  • 60% of the work that the co-artistic directors do for the company is done in-kind. 
  • For years C&P has constantly struggled to find a permanent, deeply affordable year-round studio space in the city. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist today in Toronto and our 221 Sterling Rd studio (slated for development in the near future) consumes our ENTIRE operating funds of $28,000 from the Toronto Arts Council. 
  • In 2018, the Provincial government asked the Ontario Arts Council to reduce budgets by 10%. Our Operating funds from the OAC were slashed from $33,000 to $30,000. This last summer all recipients received only 75% of their Operating funds because the OAC was unsure if they would receive further cuts from the Provincial government. We are still waiting on word if we will receive the remainder of our Operating funds.

Help us make art with you and for you

Despite the enormous challenges, it’s you, the Dufferin Grove and Davenport community, that has kept us going for 28 years. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity, for your ongoing support over the many years, and for your friendship, camaraderie and love. It has kept us motivated and excited to keep creating, keep sharing and mentoring, keep examining the world critically and also keep celebrating its extraordinary beauty together. 

We are encouraged by the many conversations that we have had with community members the last couple of weeks about our funding needs and this fundraiser in particular. And we are convinced that together, we can reach our goal for Night of Dread.

With love and gratitude, from all of the team at Clay and Paper Theatre.

*Because of the ongoing renovation of the Dufferin Grove Park Rink House, the final night's park pageant will be staged and take place at Dovercourt Park.