The Lighthouse Festival Theatre Light Up the Stage campaign has raised above and beyond the anticipated goal.
The McKeil Family Foundation stepped forward and agreed to match all donations up to $100,000. That was added to the $114,585 raised by the theatre for a combined total of $214,585.
During the campaign videos from professional and community actors, directors, and members of the stage crew were shared highlighting their memories of Lighthouse and encouraging everyone to help the theatre.
“One can’t describe how wonderful it is to see such support for Lighthouse. To see the names of who supported this campaign was like a parade of dear friends and family,” Derek Ritschel, Lighthouse’s artistic director, said. “Lighthouse has gone through some difficult times over the years and this one is likely the most devastating of all. At no time in human history has every theatre in the world been forced to close its doors for such a long period of time, to lose an entire year of programming is breathtaking.”
The pandemic caused the theatre to cancel its May to September season. The financial implications and the potential impact on the theatre is what spurred the McKeil Family Foundation to want to help, said a press release from the theatre.
“The theatre is good for both individuals and local business and we are proud to be part of this very successful initiative,” Blair McKeil said in the release.
The Light Up The Stage matching campaign began on June 22 and concluded on Sept. 30.
The funds raised from the campaign have already started helping Lighthouse with a re-opening strategy for safety measures needed when the time is right to re-open, as well as supporting several Canadian playwrights develop new plays through a workshop and mentoring program the theatre offers.
When it is safe to do so, Lighthouse is planning a celebration event to honour all the donors and supporters, along with the McKeil Family Foundation.