For Immediate Release: November 14, 2016
The Theatre Centre Closes Capital Campaign with One Million Dollars in Final Contributions and Announces New Name for Mainspace Theatre
The Theatre Centre announced today a number of major gifts to its $6.2 million capital campaign, including a $500,000 gift that will see its mainspace theatre named after Artistic Director and visionary Franco Boni.
In total, five major gifts were announced, all received or pledged in the last six months:
• $500,000 from philanthropist Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain, which includes naming rights to the mainspace theatre;
• an additional $100,000 from board member Jenny Ginder and John Todd, bringing their cumulative support to $105,000;
• an additional $100,000 from board member Rick Matthews and Ann Marie Stasiuk, bringing their cumulative support to $105,000;
• an additional $25,000 from board member Lindy Cowan and Chris Hatley, bringing their cumulative support to $30,000; and
• $25,000 from the Delaney Family Foundation.
In addition, the City of Toronto, through a Section 37 Community Benefit, is committed to a further capital investment of $250,000 in the City-owned former Carnegie Library that The Theatre Centre calls home, officially bringing the capital campaign to a close. In the words of local City Councillor Ana Bailao, “This is a project whose benefits far exceed the modest scale of its budget, and the City is delighted to remain on board to see it to completion.”
“The adaptive re-use of this City-owned building has had a tremendous impact both on The Theatre Centre and on the larger community in which it operates,” said Board Chair Richard Mortimer. “Our move here in March 2014 made real our goal of becoming a true incubator and community hub, partnering with a wide variety of organizations in many disciplines. None of this would have been possible without the support of the public and private donors who we are celebrating today.”
The announcements were made at a celebratory reception for both private and public funders to the capital campaign. The climax of the event was the unveiling of new signage for the Franco Boni Theatre by Board Chair Richard Mortimer and Jen McCain, representing her grandmother Margaret.
“We are especially grateful for the generous support of Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain,” said Board member Robert Sirman, Capital Campaign Chair. “Margie’s gift of $500,000—the largest in The Theatre Centre’s history—provided the push that allowed us to complete the campaign and name the mainspace theatre. That Margie chose to dedicate the space to the visionary who made all of this possible—The Theatre Centre’s Artistic Director for the past 13 years, Franco Boni—is just further evidence of her extraordinary generosity and commitment to community.”
“I am totally humbled by this unexpected honour,” said Artistic Director Franco Boni. “We started with a simple commitment to make good art, and ended up doing so much more. I am deeply moved that my name will now be permanently connected to the community-building achievement this project represents.”
The Theatre Centre
The Theatre Centre is a nationally-recognized live arts incubator that serves as a research and development hub for the cultural sector. It provides space, subsidy, and mentorship to nurture the development of new works by the next generation of artistic leaders.
With a focus on long-term support for cross-disciplinary artistic work, The Theatre Centre is unique within the landscape of contemporary live performance in Toronto and across Canada. It fosters a culture of innovation by embracing risk and giving artists the opportunity to explore, devise, and test their ideas in traditional and non-traditional formats.
The Theatre Centre is also a destination for audiences who are passionate about original work
and the creative process behind it. Its facilities serve as a cultural and community hub where people of all ages and backgrounds can access and participate in civic engagement and
The Capital Project
Thirty-three years of a nomadic existence came to an end for The Theatre Centre in 2012 when it gained tenancy to a City-owned former Carnegie library at 1115 Queen Street West. Before it could occupy the building, however, it needed to undertake major renovations to transform the interior into a unique living arts facility and restore the building to its original function as a place of public use and cultural significance.
The project design team was led by architect Philip Goldsmith, whose portfolio also includes the National Ballet School on Jarvis and Maitland Streets and the Royal Conservatory of Music on Bloor. The capital renovation budget was $6.2 million – an enormous stretch for an organization the size of The Theatre Centre. With seed funding from the Metcalf Foundation and strong support from all three levels of Government, the company launched a private fundraising campaign and broke ground in October 2012. Eighteen months and much hard work later, the building had been transformed into a state-of-the-art theatre and cultural hub, and was officially opened as the permanent home of The Theatre Centre in March 2014.
The Theatre Centre sits on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat peoples.
Capital Campaign Public Supporters
• Government of Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage
• Province of Ontario
• Ontario Trillium Foundation
• City of Toronto
Capital Campaign Major Private Supporters
• Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain
• George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
• BMO Financial Group
• Streetcar Developments
• TD Bank
• Jenny Ginder & John Todd
• Rick Matthews & Ann Marie Stasiuk
$25,000 – $99,000
• Lindy Cowan & Chris Hatley
• Denis Lefebvre
• Timothy & Frances Price
• Kevin Helfand in Memory of Harry Helfand
• John & Don McKellar in Memory of Tracy Wright
• Rose DeMasi-Mantella & Daniel Mantella
• Interior Systems Contractors Association
• Pemberton Group & Marel Contractors
• The Delaney Family Foundation
Franco Boni has been Artistic Director of The Theatre Centre since 2003 and is the acknowledged visionary behind its successful move to a totally renovated and transformed Carnegie library building at 1115 Queen Street West. He is a recognized cultural innovator, facilitator and community builder with a demonstrated track record of providing financial stability and artistic credibility to the arts organizations he has led. Boni has served as Festival Director of the Rhubarb Festival and Artistic Producer of the SummerWorks Theatre Festival. He is the inaugural recipient of the Ken McDougall Award for emerging directors, and was awarded the Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in the development of arts and culture in the City of Toronto and the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship in Professional Theatre.
“Franco sees talent, innovation and ideas where no one else even thinks to look. He is an artistic thinker and visionary who pushes the boundaries of form and thought in the realm of theatre creation. He is equally as committed to the larger community as he is to the theatre community and understands that the relationship between the two is critical.”
- Jennifer Tarver