On October 23, 2018, Soulpepper welcomed a crowd of over 300 guests at its annual gala. Co-chaired by Raj Kothari and Maureen Dodig, Signature Soulpepper celebrated the Company’s work and its dynamic creative ensemble. The highlight of the evening was a performance with music, drama and narrative led by some of Soulpepper’s many talented artists.
The event was a huge success, showcasing Soulpepper’s resiliency and enthusiastic spirit. We are thrilled to report that over $560,000 was raised – surpassing the goal for the night. All proceeds will go towards supporting Soulpepper activities on-stage and off-stage. For example, two important programs highlighted during the evening; Soulpepper’s Culturelink Newcomers Welcome Program, and Soulpepper’s Youth Outreach Programs will benefit from the generosity demonstrated at this year’s Signature Soulpepper.
Our immense gratitude to the committed Signature Soulpepper sponsors, table hosts, donors, guests, staff and artists who made it all possible!
In April 2000, Kit Moore attended his first Soulpepper production. It was The Mill on the Floss, which had been suggested to him by a friend during Soulpepper’s third season. It was just two years after Soulpepper opened and Kit was excited to have a company in Toronto that focused on the classics. Kit was drawn to the inviting and warm nature of Soulpepper and its acting ensemble. Ten years later Kit introduced Barbara to Soulpepper. Barbara grew up in an artistic household and is a long-time patron of Toronto’s classical music scene. Aside from occasional jaunts to the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, she did not actively attend theatre. Once she started attending Soulpepper with Kit, live theatre became a part of her life. Like Kit, Barbara enjoys theatre companies where you can get to know the actors and feel like a part of a community. As she puts it “It’s special to see a production, then, be joined by the familiar faces of the actors in the atrium post-show.”
Kit has been donating to Soulpepper for over 18 years. He recognized the financial challenges that any new start-up organization faces but believed in Soulpepper’s mission and wanted to support its growth. Barbara sees Soulpepper’s strength in its artists and its contribution to Toronto’s theatre ecology. The Moores feel that it is a priority to support theatre because of its power to expand your horizons, to present you with new points of view and also engage you in stories that often feel incredibly familiar. Kit and Barbara also appreciate the escape that attending live theatre offers. Kit, who is an avid rock climber and has been known to rappel down City Hall for charity each year, added: “Climbing on rocks outdoors is not unlike theatre, in that they both take us outside of our everyday lives for a little while.”
Over the next ten years, Kit and Barbara anticipate that Soulpepper will continue to work with great artists to produce new works and new old works they may have never seen before. Soulpepper is exactly the company that Kit imagined it would be 18 years ago.
Photographer: Janet Trost
How did you first learn about Soulpepper/What is your first memory of Soulpepper?
I found Soulpepper on the National Ballet of Canada website. When I accessed Soulpepper’s website, the breadth of the theatre and the concerts Soulpepper offered impressed me most. My first memory of Soulpepper was my attendance at The Secret Chord: A Leonard Cohen Experience. The artists delivered an outstanding performance. The intimacy of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts as a venue for performance enhanced the artists’ delivery of Leonard Cohen’s songs that evening. I enjoyed that concert so much that I am attending the concert again at Soulpepper in July!
What inspires you to support Soulpepper?
I want to support an artist’s passion for performance. I want to continue to have Soulpepper produce outstanding theatre and concerts.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about giving to Soulpepper? And, why do you think the arts should be a priority for philanthropy?
The arts contribute to the fabric and the texture of this city, this province and this country. It is for this reason that I am contributing to Soulpepper.
Where do you see Soulpepper in 10 years?
I see Soulpepper continuing to deliver the wide breadth of theatre and concert performances. I see Soulpepper continuing to reach out to the community and to mentor the next generation of artists. I see Soulpepper as a place where an artist can express themselves and have their voice heard.