Once again two of Canada's most generous arts patrons are first to participate in a new forum for giving to the arts.
The Canadian Stage Company has announced that Joan Chalmers and Barbara Amesbury will help launch their "Producers' Circle" with a major monetary donation toward the production of Tom Wood's newest work, Claptrap.
The lack of proper recognition for the many "angels" who give to theatre has long been a problem -- usually they share a line of print with corporations -- and this new program will allow those generous souls to receive due recognition. As Bob Baker, CanStage's artistic director explains; "commercial theatre has its investors, but in the not-for-profit theatre we rely on angels, people like Joan and Barbara who give not for monetary return but for the thrill of being an integral part of the show."
For their part, Chalmers and Amesbury have always been fans of Tom Woods' work (his first comedy hit B-Movie, The Play, was a huge hit in Canada and also played in the States.) Chalmers says she and Amesbury have been looking for new ways to be even more actively involved in Toronto's theatre scene and this program provides a public example for others to follow.
Always leaders when it comes to arts patronage, the Chalmers family is responsible for the Chalmers New Canadian Play Awards, as well as a host of others covering many genres in the arts. Their commitment has already set an example for many others over the years. Canadian Stage Company "Producers' Circle" Info: 416-367-8243, Ext. 244. Ask for Linda Barnett.
--By Mira Friedlander