June 24th, 2024

New West Theatre call for support with ‘Save Our Stage’ campaign

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on November 19, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Dawn Leite, board of directors president for New West Theatre, along with long time New West Theatre performer Kathy Zaborsky, talks to the reporters about their fundraising campaign "Save Our Stage" on Friday at the Yates Memorial Theatre.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

New West Theatre is reaching out to the community for the first time with an urgent plea for help in order to continue to operate past their December production.

The company is asking the community to help them raise $150,000 through their urgent campaign titled Save Our Stage, in order to ensure New West Theatre will be able to operate beyond 2022.

On Friday, New West Theatre Board of Directors president Dawn Leite said they are working toward a new, more sustainable business model featuring in-depth financial examination and consideration while bringing back more family-friendly programming that New West Theatre audiences have come to love.

“Like most not-for-profit arts organizations we rely on funding from a combination of sources, including public funders, corporate sponsors, and private donors, in addition to ticket sales. However, the company needs additional funds to make that course correction. The funds we raise through this effort will ensure we can successfully make that change, and ensure New West Theatre is here for another 30 years,” said Leite.

She said New West Theatre is a community institution that has provided thousands of families with laughs, entertainment and theatre education over the past 30 years.

Long-time New West Theatre performer and musical director Kathy Zaborsky said New West Theatre is a gift to our community and has given a generation of performers a chance to be employed in their profession and to grow as artists.

“I am grateful beyond words to have had this amazing chance to work with this wonderful company for the last 25 years,” said Zaborsky.

She said she had the opportunity of working as an actor, director and musical director across Canada and the United States, but New West Theatre is a rare and precious gem.

“One of the greatest gifts as a performer is the ability to delight and inspire your audience and hopefully New West Theatre will be able to do that for years to come,” said Zaborsky.

Chair of the Save Our Stage fundraising campaign, Mike Spencer, said that to him New West Theatre brings something that a city of our size is extremely fortunate to have and is something that would be a massive loss if it cannot continue to operate.

“I’m standing here today because I care passionately about the arts and about organizations like New West Theatre, something very special to our community, and I think we need to recognize that we can’t just let it go without a fight,” said Spencer.

Leite said they are hoping to reach their campaign goal within the next couple of months, and every donation helps no matter how small, as they all add up.

Those interested in donating can do so in person at the Yates Theatre, on the New West Theatre website, by mail or by phone.

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