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Artist Support September 28, 2022

The Slaight Family Foundation Commits $15M to Rejuvenate Theatre Companies

Banner image of Jeremy Dutcher performing in Biziindan! Luminato 2019 by Jeremy Mimnagh. Supported by Slaight Music.

Thank you to our long-term supporter, Gary Slaight and the Slaight Family Foundation, for your $15M transformational gift to support theatres and artists recovering from pandemic closures. We’re honoured to be in the company of incredible Canadian theatre organizations supported by the Slaight Initiative.

The Slaight Family Foundation has announced it will donate $15 million to 22 Canadian theatre companies to support the performing arts industry as it continues to recover from pandemic-related closures. The sector has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic–being the first to close and the last to reopen–and continues to experience major disruptions.

This transformational sectoral gift is the first of its kind for the theatre sector and will provide direct support to theatres and artists recovering from pandemic closures.

The initiative will enable theatres to take the artistic risk needed to bring back audiences and reignite creative processes, funding artists fees, production development and marketing costs over the next two years.  

 “The forced closure of theatres because of the pandemic has devastated the theatre industry,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation. “Even now, with audiences nervous to return since reopening, we are still seeing shows being rescheduled and cancelled, sometimes the same day. We’re very happy to support these organizations so they can focus on the work of creating & bringing back audiences.” 

Gary Slaight with the members of the 22 theatre organizations who received the gift from the Slaight Initiative on September 28, 2022.

Thank you to the Slaight Family Foundation for your transformational theatre initiative. Together, we offer our heartfelt gratitude for your incredible commitment of $15 million to support theatre in Canada.

This gift will have a profound impact on 22 nationally-recognized Canadian theatre companies and training institutions including:

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity 
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 
Canadian Stage 
The Coal Mine Theatre 
Crows Theatre 
Factory Theatre 
Luminato Festival Toronto 
The Musical Stage Company 
National Arts Centre 
National Theatre School 
Native Earth Performing Arts 
Obsidian Theatre 
Smile Theatre 
Soulpepper Theatre Company 
Stratford Festival 
Tarragon Theatre 
Theatre Passe Muraille 
Toronto Fringe Festival 
Why Not Theatre 
Younge People’s Theatre 

Learn more about the Slaight Initiative’s commitment to Canadian theatre and generous gift here.

About The Slaight Family Foundation

Since 2013, The Slaight Family Foundation has funded several strategic initiatives to multiple organizations. These initiatives started with gifts to five Toronto hospitals to support priority healthcare issues, followed by programs to address global humanitarianism, the healthy development of children and youth across Canada, support for Indigenous issues, a seniors’ initiative to help keep seniors in their homes and communities, supporting mental health challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently support for women and girls at risk in Canada. This gift of $15 million brings the collective support for these strategic initiatives to $185 million. The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight (1931-2021), known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, was a leader in the music industry and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth international development, social services and culture. Allan’s son, Gary Slaight, oversees the foundation as President & CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation.