Kids in The Meaford Hall Present ‘The Wind in The Willows’
Friday December 7th – 2 performances free for local students.
This year’s play was a real success. This was the 10th year Kids in the Meaford Hall put on a free play at Christmas time. Even with a snow day making the buses stay off the roads we still managed to entertain 800 local kids. This year we had an all youth cast (17 in total) and as a special bonus our Director was only 16 years old! The enthusiasm from our Production crew made it all possible again. The sets and costumes and props were all wonderful. The publicity and fundraising in the community made it all possible. For every kid on stage there was a volunteer behind the scenes. It’s so important to provide children with the magical experience of theatre.
Thanks to all our sponsors and the folks at Meaford Hall. See you again later this year! stay tuned.
Meaford Culture Foundation – Grassroots Heroes
Meaford has become a centre of arts and culture for Southern Georgian Bay, thanks in large part to the work of the Meaford Culture Foundation, which supports capital improvements and sponsors live theatre at Meaford Hall as well providing grants for cultural groups and events in the community. The foundation, which recently celebrated its 12th anniversary, has funded renovations at Meaford Hall along with equipment such as a grand piano and film projector. “Last year we committed $30,000 to live theatre,” adds board chair Rod MacAlpine. “Meaford has become a cultural hub, we’re happy to say, and it’s because of the Hall. Now with the growth of the community outreach program, we’re seeing arts and culture grow and thrive in the community, particularly as it relates to youth.” Since its inception in 2008, the outreach program has so far spent $174,000 on community arts and culture programs and activities, including child and youth programs. In 2018, the foundation also granted 12 full bursaries for students to attend art, music and drama camps. “It feels great to be part of building something,” says Joanne McKenzie, director of community outreach. “When we get the reports back from parents and kids who have received a bursary for camp, and hear how it helps them to become a better, more well-rounded human being, that’s what makes it worthwhile. They learn to work as a team, they have better self-esteem, they’re better at public speaking, and they’re not shy or nervous about trying something new. Last year there was a boy, age 11, who really didn’t want to go to music and drama camp because he was so shy. Begrudgingly he went there the first day, and by day three when he came home he was going around the house singing and dancing.” The foundation has two main annual fundraising events: an online auction and the Meaford International Film Festival (MIFF), which features four films, four dinners catered by local chefs, and four after parties. The film festival has become a not-to-be-missed event for out-of-towners as well as local residents: MacAlpine estimates that almost half of ticket sales for the four-night event come from outside of Meaford. “It’s been very rewarding to see the foundation grow and the impact it’s had on the local community, particularly in regards to youth,” says MacAlpine, adding, “A vibrant arts and culture community instills community pride, attracts tourists and hence tourist dollars, and makes Meaford a potentially attractive destination for people looking to relocate.” http://onthebaymagazine.com/grassroots-heroes-3/
Professional Theatre “Fatty Legs”
The Foundation was pleased to sponsor Fatty Legs in October 2018. Over 600 students were able to see two performances at no cost. Students from Georgian Bay Community School, Beaver Valley Community School, Admiral Collingwood Elementary School, Events for Life and Chippewas of Nawash Students. Fatty Legs is based on a true story and set in Canada’s Far North. It’s the story of Olemaun Pokiak who dreams of learning to read. But when she arrives at residential school she is given the name Margaret, has her long braids cut off, and is made to wear itchy red wool socks as an example of her “unworthiness.” Treated cruelly by classmates and teachers, Margaret devises a plan to ensure the red stockings won’t cause her any more humiliation. This show combines ethereal singing, engaging narration and contemporary indigenous dance. It is a profound yet accessible true story that brings to light the suffering created by residential schools while celebrating the deep strength of a child who refused to be broken by her experiences. Before and after the performances the director and actors participated in a Q & A with the students. You could tell from the interaction and enthusiasm the students had be fully engaged in the production. Thank you to the Georgian Bay Club Foundation for helping to make this possible.
Meaford Culture Foundation is very proud have sponsored the return of 2018 LIVE SUMMER THEATRE to Meaford Hall and to be again sponsoring 2019 LIVE SUMMER THEATRE at the Hall.
Meaford Culture Foundation presents a cheque for $10,000 to the library
The Meaford Public Library received a big boost this week. The Meaford Culture Foundation donated a cheque for $10,000 to the library, to be used for early literacy computers in the Junior Library. Foundation Chair Rod MacAlpine said at the cheque presentation, “The Foundation is delighted to be able to contribute to the promotion of youth literacy. It is the Foundation’s mandate to support youth involvement in arts and culture including literacy through our Community Outreach Program.” The early literacy computers will be installed in the library in Fall 2018 and will move with the library to its new location at 11 Sykes Street North. Library staff were thrilled to receive the news of the donation. Lynne Fascinato, branch manager and Deputy CEO of the library, said, “The Meaford Public Library thanks the Meaford Culture Foundation for their generous contribution to the Junior Library. Our previous single Literacy Station attracted approximately 36 users per week so we are very excited to be able to replace it! These stations make literacy development and skill building fun and easy for our young patrons and help prepare them for school. These new stations help attract children and their families to the library on an ongoing basis.” www.meaford.ca/NewLibrary. Present at the cheque donation from left: Lori Pierce; Nancy Primak – Meaford Public Library Board Vice Chair; Lynne Fascinato; Foundation Chair Rod MacAlpine; Meaford Culture Foundation Directors Joanne McKenzie and Susan Greenham; Peter Bantock.