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.
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/
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.
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.
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
Nancy Cummings Gold
Dr. Anthony G. Czaharyn
Fergus V. Keyes
Kevin E. Lutes
Hugh W. McAdams
Carolyn E. Renaud
Robert A. Walsh
Robert M. Yalden
Aaron Rand, CJAD
Lori Graham, CTV
Martin R Landry
Cummings & Gold Families
Power Corporation of Canada
Reitmans (Canada) Limited
Rossy Family Foundation
MAJOR IN-KIND DONORS & IN-KIND SPONSORS
Celebrations – Party & Special Event Rentals
Epik Hotel Boutique & Restaurant Bonaparte
Mansfield Athletic Club
Palladium Hotels & Resorts
Scenic luxury cruises & tours
The Crane Resort
VIA Rail Canada
© Photo credits : Andrée Lanthier and Antoine Saito