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Essential Collective Theatre

Registered Name: The Essential Collective Theatre Company

Business Number: 844082321RR0001

Essential Giving Tuesday

Campaign Ended Dec. 10, 2019

This GivingTuesday help ECT reach our goal of $5000 towards engaging Niagara in our own stories!

Giving Tuesday focuses on the positive impact we all can have on our communities when we come together and is the perfect way to incorporate charitable giving into your holiday shopping and celebrate our creative community this season. 

Your donation this year will go directly into allowing us to continue to create, develop and present NEW NIAGARA PLAYS

Your Donation Will Support:

New Professional Niagara Production: For almost 20 years it has been a priority and in our mandate to produce new local plays. Eg. Over the past 3 years we have debuted:The Welland Canal Play, Our Lady of Delicias, Blood Lightning and The Team (which has recently been published with our original cast and production in print nationwide!)

Workshops: A completed play in development receives a one-week intensive workshop with actors, director and designers. Eg.The Welland Canal Play which went on to be one of our most successful productions.

New Play Development: Two scripts-in-progress selected from local playwrights receive dramaturgy concluding in a staged public reading. Many of the plays selected for readings have been further developed by ECT into successful main stage productions. Eg. Our Lady of Delicias (2018)

Senior Stories: Emerging artists collaborate with Niagara seniors to create an original play based on the stories of their youth, and perform it in public venues and seniors’ residences.This has become a valued community program involving more than 6000 community members over the last 3 years.

Playwriting for Youth: providing the groundwork and skills to aspiring new Niagara storytellers. Due to funding cuts, this program is in jeopardy for 2020.

Why Your Support is Critical Now

Our mandate has become much more difficult to meet recently, as the cost to present in St. Catharines and the rising cost of professional artist fees has impacted us greatly. Couple this with ⅓ of our operating budget being slashed due to cuts to government funding provincially (OAC) and critically from the City of St. Catharines (SCCIP), and the future of our contribution to Niagara culture becomes precarious.

In February we planned to present our founder Stephanie Jones' new play John School a truly relevant and important work with a large cast of Niagara artists and creators, at the FirstOntario Performing Art Centre. The cost of actors fees alone far surpasses our now severely reduced budget. 

Senior Stories, our intergenerational community exchange, and productive professional development program entered its fifth year, but the final of a Trillium Grant. We are determined to continue with it well into the future and are looking into a way to securely fund it.

How Your Support Helped Us in 2019

We have had much success in 2019 where we have ushered in a diverse range of new-generation artists. Between Senior Stories, The Team, and East of Berlin all our playwrights, performers and designers have been in their twenties or early thirties. Introducing such a dynamic next wave of artists has been both thrilling and reassuring, as we look towards the future of our artistic community. 

The Team featured 5 roles for emerging women and non-binary actors. Q&A’s after the performances from the Canadian Mental Health Association offered the kind of dialogue to reach young audiences who were going through many of the same issues. We are proud to announce that our production is featured in an anthology of Canadian Plays published in November!

East of Berlin’s stellar performances and beautiful direction inspired our community and deeply impacted our local Jewish Community. We brought many cultural tourists to downtown St. Catharines with sold out performances. Overwhelmed with critical acclaim and audience feedback we now have offers to bring our relevant production to other Canadian stages.

Why Is This Important?

New play development enables an intergenerational exchange of creative ideas, validates the lived experience of community members, engenders a sense of belonging and shares a collective vision with the wider community. When the community sees itself in a performance it values artistic expression as integral to its identity and sees art as a catalyst for community building. We simply can't do it without you and appreciate every dollar of support!

$750 raised out of $5,000 goal

15.0% Complete
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