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SummerWorks loses Heritage Canada funding

Posted by Derek Flack / June 27, 2011

Summerworks loses fundingThe SummerWorks Festival announced earlier today that Heritage Canada has pulled its funding of the event despite having provided crucial grant money since its inception. "After a tremendously productive five year partnership with Heritage Canada, the Festival has just received notice that this partnership is not going to be renewed for the 2011 season," wrote artistic producer Michael Rubenfeld in a post on the festival's blog.

The announcement comes just over a month before the 2011 edition of the event is set to take place in and around Queen West. Worth about $40,000, the lost grant leaves a significant hole in the festival's finances. "This loss of 20% of our budget just weeks before opening has created a significant shortfall and left us little time to fill it," according to Rubenfeld, who's now spearheading a last-minute fundraising effort.

Absent from mention today — at least on the SummerWorks site itself — is last year's "controversy" surrounding festival play Homegrown, which depicts the relationship between Toronto 18 member Shareef Abdelhaleem and the playwright, Catherine Frid. A series of Toronto Sun articles last summer called out the festival for inclusion of a play that putatively glorifies terrorism. In the absence of comment or explanation from Heritage Canada, it's not possible to connect the dots, but naturally there's suspicion that the two are related.

SummerWorks is asking for donations of $21 to commerate its 21st year and to makeup for the lost funds. And, according to the Globe and Mail, "ticket prices will be raised by 50 per cent, some outdoor programming will be cancelled and the marketing budget will be significantly cut."



Jimmy / June 27, 2011 at 02:52 pm
Unfortunately times are tough, but with some hustle and some good ideas they should be able to raise 40 grand.
Fantomex replying to a comment from Jimmy / June 27, 2011 at 03:52 pm
Pray tell, from where? From staging the same shit as Livent and Mirvish?

Why can't we defund the military in the same way instead? Or at least make the rich pay for defending the country by imposing an inheritance tax on them (about every $100.00 would go to buying the tanks, fighter planes, ships, and nuclear subs that Harper & Co. think that we need)? Better yet, why not cut back the obscene amount spent on policing (Canada's crime rate is low compared to the USA's!) Those are a lot better than cutting into arts programs and stage companies like this one.

Oops, except that I forget-you're one of the Tea Party morons that most likely voted in Harper, aren't you Jimmy? Prove me wrong.
Jimmy replying to a comment from Fantomex / June 27, 2011 at 04:59 pm
I'm a huge supporter of the arts, you ignorant jackazz.

I was saying, and I guess I should expect that only grown ups will understand, that all kinds of shyt is getting cut, and the smart people figure out ways to get things done in spite of those cuts.

Hey, here's a free idea for Summerworks, if any of them come here to check on the BlogTO story:

Approach an ad agency and work with them to come up with a fund raising campaign or idea. They will do this pro-bono. I'm not talking about some shit fringe shop in Etobicoke or someone's cousin who makes websites. I mean DDB, BBDO, Bensimon Byrne, MacLaren McCann, Crispin Porter, etc. Give them the creative freedom and they will get you your 40 grand and more.

So Fantomex spare me your laughable tea party Harper bullshyt. Such typical clueless and baseless venom spewed at someone who actually is on the arts' side.

bye bye now
jason / June 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm
Diane Ablonczy.

Get used to this for the next four years.
rek / June 28, 2011 at 12:12 am
This has Harper's stink all over it.
trend / June 28, 2011 at 09:23 am
first they came for the playwrights...
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