The absence of stage performances during COVID at the Chemainus Theatre has left a huge void in the community. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The absence of stage performances during COVID at the Chemainus Theatre has left a huge void in the community. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

A campaign is underway to Bridge the Gap until the Chemainus Theatre can get performances back on stage again.

There’s big news coming out of the theatre this week.

“We’ve secured lead pledges of $60,000 that we hope to have matched,” noted Randy Huber, the theatre’s managing director.

Gregg and Jennifer Perry, Dr. Don and Joyce Hilton and Duncan Iron Works, in partnership with the theatre’s board of directors, have collectively pledged $60,000 toward a giving campaign. If fully matched, these funds will go a long way toward putting the Chemainus Theatre back on the main stage.

All going well, the target for that to happen is by the fall of this year.

The finances of the theatre have obviously been stretched from nearly a year without stage performances due to COVID-19.

The theatre is extremely grateful to the long-time supporters for stepping forward to provide light and hope.

Related story: Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

Dr. Hilton’s family generously originated last year’s Crisis Relief Fund Campaign by pledging $50,000 toward a matched funding campaign. Gregg Perry was the theatre’s original artistic director from 1992 to 1994 and has been a strong advocate ever since. And Duncan Iron Works has faithfully stood behind the theatre as a perennial lead sponsor.

Every dollar donated to the Bridge the Gap campaign will be matched by the lead donors up to $60,000. All gifts will also be eligible for a tax-deductible donation receipt.

“We are humbled by the generosity that has carried the theatre and strengthened by the well-wishes and words of encouragement,” noted Huber and artistic director Mark DuMez in a joint statement. “We know the theatre is important to you and that emboldens us to push ahead.

“We can’t wait to welcome you back and gather again under the dome at Chemainus Theatre to laugh, cry, sing and share wonderful stories that nourish truth, hope, redemption, love and the human spirit.”

As a special thank you to all campaign donors, a complimentary live streamed concert is being offered on Friday, March 12 by one of the Chemainus Theatre’s all-time favourite artists, Zach Stevenson, from his home in Chicago.

Stevenson is particularly well-known to Chemainus audiences as Buddy from the Buddy Holly Story.

It will be the debut stream utilizing the equipment the theatre acquired from an Island Coastal Economic Trust grant.

Donors will also receive advance notice of events and programming, including the return of the popular Playbill Presents cabaret and a soon-to-be-announced online concert series.

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Zach Stevenson is well-known for his roles over the years at the Chemainus Theatre, including the iconic Buddy Holly. (Photo courtesy Chemainus Theatre Festival)

Zach Stevenson is well-known for his roles over the years at the Chemainus Theatre, including the iconic Buddy Holly. (Photo courtesy Chemainus Theatre Festival)

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