Donor Event

Thank You – A Virtual Donor Event

Centaur’s first virtual donor-appreciation event

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

Centaur Thanks its Individual Donors

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!

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. Ten generous donor households that were among the very first to confirm their attendance were pleasantly surprised ahead of time with a delivery of Prosecco and sundry cocktail ingredients to make their own Bellinis – the event’s signature drink.

Eda closed the event by acknowledging everyone who helped make it possible:

Jennifer Bisson, Development Assistant
Luciana Burcheri, Floor Director
Peter Cerone, Sound and Video Coordinator
Matilda Cerone and Shin Ling Low, camera team
Howard Mendelsohn, Production Manager
Haleema Mini, Director of Development
Vanessa Rigaux, Digital Media Manager
Eloi Savoie, Marketing and Communications Manager
Elly Tomasson, Head Technician Centaur II

Eda sent a virtual hug to Chris Barillaro for his musical stylings and thanked Ellen David and Anthony Czaharyn for joining her in person.

A socially-distanced cocktail party

A “lightly seasoned” Centaur

“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. We will have our first meeting September 21st and that conversation will be the springboard for the re-launch of our live, online Saturday Salons in October so make sure to tune in to those!”

The second initiative on the horizon was revealed to be The Portico Project, sponsored by the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation, a series of free performances taking place outdoors on Centaur’s grand entryway from September 24 to October 4, 2020.

The Portico Project will allow theatre lovers to see a live production again, in person, with other audience members … a sorely missed privilege during the past few months. In between the six rotating shows is an exciting interactive performance piece called The Red Phone, from Vancouver’s celebrated Boca del Lupo theatre company. There are other surprise events planned for the two-week event and although everything is free, donations will be gratefully accepted. 

Thanking once again the donors who have held on and supported Centaur in this challenging time, as well as the team that made this event possible both on camera and off, Eda closed the night with a message from the heart:

“Theatre is only possible when everyone believes that it is important and your commitment to Centaur Theatre means the world to us. See you at the Portico Project!”

– Eda Holmes



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.