Centaur’s First Virtual Donor-Appreciation Event

Centaur Theatre Company has been operating in the heart of Old Montreal for more than fifty years and that is largely due to its steadfast donor base. Nothing could keep Centaur from throwing one of its donor appreciation events this summer … not even a pandemic!

When I think of celebrations I think of bubbles. That word has taken on a whole new connotation in these socially distanced times and it wasn’t much of a leap from bubbles to Bellinis and here we are. We just may make Bellinis our signature cocktail!

– Eda Holmes
Eda Holmes and Anthony Czaharyn

As happy hour approached on Monday August 24th, approximately 100 individual donors tuned in on Facebook or YouTube for an intimate 5 à 7, hosted by the theatre’s Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes and long-time Board Member and Director’s Circle fundraising campaign Chairman, Dr. Anthony Czaharyn.

Streaming live from Centaur Theatre on the set of their prematurely-closed hit show MOB, Eda and Anthony raised a glass to the generous individuals who have given what they can to help Centaur weather the storm.

Donor Valerie Shannon receives a surprise gift from Haleema Mini, Director of Development

Ten special donors who RSVP’d early were pleasantly surprised the Friday before with a delivery of cocktail ingredients (to make their own Bellinis – the event’s signature drink) delivered by Director of Development, Haleema Mini and Marketing and Communications Manager, Eloi Savoie

Musician Chris Barillaro

A cocktail party wouldn’t be complete without a little music – luckily Eda had invited actor, musician, arranger, and musical director, Chris Barillaro, (remotely from his Pt-St-Charles studio) to tickle the ivories for us and speak about his involvement in the postponed Centaur Christmas show, A Christmas-ish Unicorn, by Marcus Youssef.

Ellen David, mixologist

As the Bellini’s ran out, Montreal stage and screen actor, Centaur-favourite, and the new Artistic Director of Theatre Lac Brome, Ellen David magically appeared – fully equipped with her own cocktail recipe and all the fixings, and proceeded to construct an unforgettable concoction that would ‘revive a corpse’ with one sip, called Corpse Reviver No. 2. With her signature smirk and savvy, Ellen shared stories and shone a light on what she’s been up to since stages went dark this spring.

As is tradition at donor appreciation events, an exclusive sneak peek of what is on the horizon was shared by Eda with the donors.

“In addition to the shutdown of everything, this summer also brought a reckoning around the endemic racism in our culture. We decided to use the enforced hiatus to find a way to look at theatre, its role in society, and how Centaur can be an agent of change.”

Eda Holmes explained as she presented plans for the new Artistic Diversity Discussion at Centaur Theatre (ADD @ Centaur). A panel of established, diverse artists and activists from the Montreal community will meet in the autumn for an in-depth conversation to identify Centaur’s blind spots regarding race equality so it can evolve as a conscientious cultural institution that truly reflects Montreal’s unique society.

“We’re taking this time to dig deep and discover ways we can use theatre to build bridges within our community and make Centaur a place where everyone in Montreal, audience and artists alike, feels welcome and can find great theatre that is relevant and inclusive.”

– Eda Holmes

The Show Must Go On fundraising campaign continues until August 31st so it’s not too late to become a member of Centaur’s Director’s Circle of donors. Now, more than ever before, every dollar counts. Thank you for your continued support!