Montreal Under the Stars

Centaur hosts an intimate fundraising soirée in celebration of the return of live theatre

There was nary a cloud in the sky on the sun-kissed evening of June 8th, as Centaur Theatre and its Board of Directors hosted MONTREAL UNDER THE STARS, an intimate fundraising soirée in celebration of the return of live theatre. The evening was filled with merriment and camaraderie and ended up raising almost $30,000 in essential funds for the theatre.

Image of five smiling people dressed in evening wear looking at the camera.

The organizers and stars: Co-Chairs Silvia Galeone and Anna Giampà, Centaur’s Artistic Director Eda Holmes, designer James Lavoie and playwright Steve Galluccio. Photo by Hector Rodriguez Neda.

Guests stepped off the historic cobblestone streets of Old Montreal onto the charming interior garden of The Burgundy Lion Group’s Pub Wolf & Workman, an elegant British-style eatery just around the corner from Centaur. In addition to donors, patrons, and other Centaur associates, the evening was also graced with the presence of six stars of the Montreal theatre scene who served as the evening’s special guests. These included multidisciplinary artist and performer Laurence Dauphinais, playwright Steve Galluccio (creator of the hit play Mambo Italiano), set and costume designer James Lavoie, as well as actors Marcel Jeannin, Richard Jutras, and Antoine Yared. The first of many toasts of the night was to everyone’s good company and to the thrill of being able to finally gather in-person once again with a close community of theatre artists and theatre lovers.

Actors Antoine Yared and Laurence Dauphinais. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Once guests sat down to enjoy a delicious three-course meal featuring dishes cooked to perfection by the skilled and gracious staff of Wolf & Workman, Centaur Board members Silvia Galeone and Anna Giampà, Co-Chairs of the Event Committee, thanked everyone in attendance for their generous support, in particular corporate patrons Fednav Ltd. and Manulife/Manuvie. The mic was then passed to Centaur’s Artistic & Executive Director Eda Holmes, who gave an exciting, top-secret sneak peek of Centaur’s upcoming 54th season. Ooh’s and aah’s could be heard around the room as Eda teased the audience with information about some of the projects that will be gracing the floorboards of Centaur’s stages later this year.

Event Co-Chairs Anna Giampà and Silvia Galeone, with Centaur’s Artistic Director Eda Holmes. Photo by Michael Cooper.

As the twilight hour approached and the libations continued to flow, the night kicked into high gear with the exciting live auction, stewarded by auctioneer extraordinaire Marcel Jeannin. Centaur’s generous patrons pulled out their wallets to bid on some enticing prize packages, including an all-included weekend staycation in the Old Port, round-trip train rides to Halifax and Stratford, and a pair of bottles of some of the most coveted and critically acclaimed wines in the world. Everyone was so caught up in the excitement and Mr. Jeannin was such a convincing salesman that some guests were even bidding against themselves! The final prize of the night, and the cornerstone of the auction, was an intimate evening with Mr. Steve Galluccio, won by two of Centaur’s luckiest patrons.

Guest Michael Cooper and actor Marcel Jeannin. Photo by Hector Rodriguez Neda.

The night wrapped up with more drinks, more toasts, and lots of laughs. As they picked up their parting gifts on the way out, many guests commented on how nice it was to finally be able to gather once again in-person and to mingle with the actors and artists who bring Montreal theatre to life. Centaur and its Board of Directors were proud to host such a lovely and well-received soirée and are excited to do it again soon. Vive le théâtre!

Yves-Patrick Rusuku and Marie Achille of Manuvie. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Steven Wright and Anastasia Nakis of Schwartz’s. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Guests Miriam Roland and Nancy Rosenfeld. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Guests Mary Rana, Thao Phan, and Arlene Bratz Abramowicz. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Playwright Steve Galluccio and actor Richard Jutras. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Centaur’s Board of Directors with the stars of the evening. Top row, from left: Board member Silvia Galeone, actor Antoine Yared, Board members Anna Giampà, Robert Yalden, and Susan Da Sie; designer James Lavoie; Board member Guillaume Saliah, and actor Laurence Dauphinais. Bottom row, from left: playwright Steve Galluccio, Artistic & Executive Director Eda Holmes, and actors Richard Jutras and Marcel Jeannin. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Co-Chairs

Silvia Galeone and Anna Giampà, Board Members, Centaur Theatre Company

Event Patrons

Fednav Ltd.

Manuvie

Major Donors

VIA Rail

Wolf & Workman

High Tea with Eda and Centaur’s Artists

An intimate gathering to thank Centaur’s most generous individual donors

Friday, February 7th, 2020 –  The world was a freezing whirlwind of snow but we were warm and cozy inside at Burgundy Lion’s new High Tea garden conservatory room, celebrating Centaur’s top tier individual donors in an intimate gathering with our Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes, and some special star guests from Centaur’s stage.

Over tasty treats and organic teas, we shared stories, mingled with our favourite artists, and got to know each other a little better. We are beyond grateful for the generosity of these amazing individuals. They are leaders in the community, supporting what they love so that it can not only live on, but thrive.

Lucinda Davis, Actor
Ellen David, Actor, Director and Artistic Director of Theatre Lac Brome
Eda Holmes, Artistic and Executive Director of Centaur Theatre
Amy Keith, Set and Costume Designer

Centaur Says Thank You to the Director’s Circle with a Taste of Cinque Terre!

Every year Centaur hosts a Thank You party for individual donors who generously contributed to the season’s success. This year’s event began with a food demonstration and tasting from the fabulous team at Ateliers et Saveurs as they whipped up a taste of Cinque Terre, the location of Centaur’s season opener Alice and the World We Live In, for 100 or so of Centaur’s Director’s Circle members. The dishes included Salt-cured Zucchini stuffed with Herbed Tuna and Anchovies, Focaccia with Sea Salt and Basil Pesto and Niçoise Socca Crêpe with Fresh Herbs and Spinach. Executive Chef Patrick Delmas, Chef Marcus Karbalai and Sommelier Catherine St-Germain were wonderful teachers making Ligurian cuisine feel accessible for even the greenest home cook!

Following the food demonstration, playwright Alexandria Haber and actress, Jane Wheeler, of Alice and the World We Live In, took the stage for a behind the scenes chat with Centaur’s Executive and Artistic Director, Eda Holmes, about Liguria, facing fears, and climbing Everest. The play will kickstart Centaur’s 51st season when it comes to the stage this October.

Thanks to support from our Director’s Circle of donors, Centaur raised $64,525 this season –   $13,968 of which will be placed in Centaur’s Endowment Fund and matched dollar for dollar with a grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. This support ensures that Centaur will continue to produce timely and entertaining English-language theatre in the heart of Montreal, create engaging programming for youth, support Montreal’s finest emerging and established artists, and cultivate the cultural scene of this dynamic city.

For more information on our Director’s Circle please visit https://centaurtheatre.com/support/individual-donations/

Dazzling, celebratory evening of theatre magic at Centaur’s Fundraising Gala

On October 16, Centaur Theatre’s Artistic and Executive Director Eda Holmes and the Theatre’s Board of Directors, Chaired by Michael Baratta, hosted CENTAUR SOIRÉE, Centaur’s 2018 Gala. Those in attendance were fêted with a celebratory night including a classy live auction guided by Aaron Rand; Treasure Chest prizes hosted by Lori Graham; a fabulous silent auction that wrapped around the mezzanine; an outstanding cocktail dînatoire; and a tour-de-force musical performance by the incomparable, award-winning jazz singer and actor, Ranee Lee. This winning 50th birthday party raised $147,000 by the time the candles were blown out.

Suzanne Asselin and Claude Rouleau of RBC Dominion

Vital funds aside, it was a beautiful celebration. On arrival, guests made their way up the red carpet, posing for photos next to lush, red velvet curtains. Decorator extraordinaire, Roberto Menegati, wowed once again. Reminiscent of all the opening night bouquets, roses were suspended overhead and beautifully displayed on tables.

Guests were treated to the rich a cappella sound of the Choir Boy cast on the portico steps. Small groups headed to the depths of the theatre for an inside peek behind the scenes during the Ghost Walk. Featuring a great cast of performers, they were taken to the costume shop, the green room, dressing rooms and the props shop. Over in the smaller theatre, Summersett Band, set up in a Jazz Bar atmosphere, won the crowd over with their smooth, original sounds.

Christopher Parker, Lyndz Dantiste, Steven Charles, Patrick Gauthier-Abellard and Vlad Alexis of Choir Boy
Summersett Band. From left to right Holly Frankel (vocals), Nick Carpenter (piano), Summersett (vocals), 
Pierre Gaudreault (bass), Davis (vocals), Jean-Philippe Godbout (drums), Amélie Lamontagne (violin) and Sophie Coderre (cello)

Centaur Soirée also had many respected guests in attendance, including Madame Christine Gosselin, Member of the Executive Committee and responsible for Culture, Heritage and Design for Montreal. Also enjoying the atmosphere were patrons representing Air Canada, Cummings & Gold Families, Fednav Limited, Reitmans (Canada) Limited, the Rossy Family Foundation and Systra Canada.

This year’s fundraiser was about the magic of theatre, and nothing was more captivating than watching the inimitable Ranee Lee in an intimate concert setting. Lee spoke about marrying her two passions of theatre and jazz, treating guests to her beautiful, fresh jazz interpretations.

Attendees capped the evening enjoying a looming red velvet birthday cake, rich brownies and lemon-meringue tartlets. People left the building inspired for the upcoming theatrical season.

Ticket revenues cover less than half of the theatre’s annual expenses. Money raised not only allows Centaur Theatre to produce high-quality professional theatre in the heart of the city, but also covers initiatives such as Theatre of Tomorrow and Saturday Morning Children’s Series. Contributions employ over 200 local, national and international theatre artists each year and maintain a valuable heritage building. This annual gala fundraiser is an occasion to celebrate the theatre’s rich legacy and guarantee its essential future.

CENTAUR SOIRÉE COMMITTEE

Michael Baratta
Nancy Cummings Gold
Dr. Anthony G. Czaharyn
Paola Farnesi
Silvia Galeone
Belle Grivakis
Eda Holmes
Fergus V. Keyes
Li Li
Tony Loffreda
Kevin E. Lutes
Hugh W. McAdams
Roberto Menegati
Beth Noel
Richard Pan
Hartland Paterson
Vincent Prager
Carolyn E. Renaud
Caitlin Rose
Nayan Saha
Charlene Todaschuk
Carmela Vincelli
Robert A. Walsh
Robert M. Yalden

AUCTIONEER

Aaron Rand, CJAD

TREASURE CHEST

Lori Graham, CTV
Jessica Abdallah
Dayane Ntibarikure

AMBASSADORS

Martin R Landry
Rodrigue Lussier

PATRONS

Air Canada
Cummings & Gold Families
Fednav Limited
Power Corporation of Canada
Reitmans (Canada) Limited
Rossy Family Foundation
Systra Canada

MAJOR IN-KIND DONORS & IN-KIND SPONSORS

Air Canada
Antonopoulos Group
Celebrations – Party & Special Event Rentals
Epik Hotel Boutique & Restaurant Bonaparte
Groupe Marcelle
Imprimerie Aubry
Mansfield Athletic Club
Menegati Design
Palladium Hotels & Resorts
Pinkerton Flowers
SAQ
Scenic luxury cruises & tours
Squish candies
The Crane Resort
VIA Rail Canada
WestJet

© Photo credits : Andrée Lanthier and Antoine Saito