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The Value of Partners

by on April 11, 2011

The follwing is the text of Fredericton Playhouse Executive Director Tim Yerxa’s remarks at the Playhouse’s recent “Partner Appreciation Night” on April 7, 2011.

 
 

Tim Yerxa, Executive Director

 
 

Tonight we are celebrating Partnership. We could not do what we do at the Playhouse without the collaboration of our clients, our generous donors, and our funders and sponsors. We’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you and the organizations you are affiliated with, for this collaboration.

This season has been a great one:

We started with a bang with one of our most robust partnerships ever by co-producing a new musical — The Bricklin, with Theatre New Brunswick this past summer. It was an amazing success — and it was made possible with the participation of some great sponsors and funding partners. Ladies & Gentlemen, I’d like you to be the first to know that tomorrow morning we will be announcing that we will be remounting the Bricklin for another 2 ½ week run next summer. What do you think of that?

Of course I have to say .. we have amazing clients who choose the Playhouse to stage their concerts, their productions, their recitals, ceremonies, competitions, and even meetings. These are the organizations and individuals who truly light up the stage with their performances and events and we owe a great deal of thanks to them.

Our flagship program at the Playhouse is our annual Spotlight Series of world-class professional touring productions. We opened our series in September and it has been an amazing year so far. Again, our funding partners and our sponsors came to the table to afford us the opportunity to present the best possible work for our community’s enjoyment.

This year is our 9th series and I’d like to recognize 8 of our sponsors who have been with us from the beginning:

·         Downtown Fredericton

·         Robert Simmonds

·         Eaglewood Specialty Products

·         CBC Radio One

·         Scotiabank Group

·         Wilson Insurance; and the

·         Crown Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Fredericton

In the fall, we ran our most important annual fundraising initiative, our Friends of the Fredericton Playhouse campaign. Our generous donors, many of who are with us here tonight, help to fund our education and outreach programs at the Playhouse. These programs include our “Experience More!” suite of enrichment programs like our Master Class series, our In Conversation series, and our Create, Learn & Play series. And they also include our access programs under the banner “Arts are For Everyone”. Ladies & gentlemen, there are thousands of people in our community, who need a helping hand to experience the magic of live performance. And with the support of our Friends of the Playhouse, we work with dozens of local social and community agencies to help those with a variety of barriers to experience our programs. Whether they are disadvantaged children, new immigrants, people with disabilities, or families who need a helping hand, we are all working together to reach out and give these folks meaningful artistic experiences. Just this week, we were able to present an amazing performance by Imago Theatre to some 500 local school children, many of whom would never otherwise have the opportunity to come to the Playhouse.

I’d like to acknowledge seven of our donors tonight who have been helping us to deliver these programs to the community, by donating at the Companion level or higher since our Friends program began in 2005. They are:

·         Angus & Margaret Hamilton

·         Jim & Kim Schnarr

·         Brian & Sharon  Nussey

·         Susan Wright

·         Albert & Ena Stevens

·         Richard & Jayne Nicki; and

·         Terry & Ann Brennan

As the Christmas season approached, we were once again blessed to be working with amazing local sponsors and funders to produce our annual holiday production – Christmas @theplayhouse. This project affords more than 100 local performers and theatre craftspeople the opportunity to create and perform a large-scale holiday show for our community. This year, we made a special effort to reach out to the deaf and hard of hearing community — and again, it took many partners to pull it all off.

Well, we are now into the spring season, and are actively planning our annual Spring Gala on May 7 – the Onstage Gala where we will celebrate Walter Learning this year with the Playhouse Honours. We hope many of you will join us for this extravagant black-tie dinner on the stage of the Playhouse and help us to raise some much need money for our community programs.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge three other groups of people who we can consider to be major contributors to our success:

  • Our board of Directors, who provides leadership to our organization;
  • Our amazing team of volunteers who give so gerously of their time and talent; and
  • Our incredible staff – who never cease to amaze me with their skill, attitude, and commitment to the good work we do.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all again for being here with us tonight and I hope you enjoy the performance. Whether you are a donor, a sponsor, a funder, a producer, promoter, event organizer, or a member of our team, you all help us in achieving our mission to deliver enriching cultural and artistic experiences to Greater Fredericton. Thank you and “Bravo” to you all!

 



The arts are a key ingredient to building a civil society and we are very serious about our role in developing our community’s appreciation of and participation in the performing arts on every level. Tonight, we salute our partners who are responsible for helping make our mission a reality for our community.

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