ITâ€™S THE PERFECT TIME TO
SET THE STAGE
Help us lay a strong foundation for the future of Gros Morne Theatre Festival.
TABLE OF CONTENTS MESSAGE FROM THE HONORARY PATRON
MESSAGE FROM THE CAMPAIGN CHAIR
ITâ€™S QUITE A STORY
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
THE NEXT ACTS
INSPIRE CREATIVE ENERGY
DONOR LEVELS PROGRAM
MESSAGE FROM THE
HONORARY PATRON THEATRE NEWFOUNDLAND LABRADOR Dear Friends, For almost 40 years, Theatre Newfoundland Labrador has set the stage for magical experiences. And for 25 of those years, much of the magic has been happening in the small rural community of Cow Head on Newfoundlandâ€™s Northern Peninsula in the heart of Gros Morne National Park. This is the setting for the very successful Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, The Gros Morne Theatre Festival has been the creative nucleus of a scene that exports the best of Newfoundland and Labrador theatre throughout Canada and around the world, while bringing stories and talent from around the world to our Province. I have seen firsthand the benefits of a vigorous and local theatre scene in building professional careers and revitalizing rural communities. We can all play a part in telling our stories. Thank you to the volunteers and staff who support Theatre Newfoundland Labrador. I offer my best wishes for continued success. Sincerely, Hon. Judy M. Foote, P.C., O.N.L Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador Honorary Patron, Theatre Newfoundland Labrador
Fostering young artistic talent in the telling of stories significant to our national rural identity is important work. Letâ€™s keep that going! The Honourable Brian V. Tobin, P.C., O.C. Campaign Chair, Set the Stage
MESSAGE FROM THE
CAMPAIGN CHAIR Dear Friends, I am truly honoured to be chairing The Set the Stage capital campaign to build a new theatre facility in the beautiful rural Newfoundland community of Cow Head. I’m honoured because for 22 years, as the local MP and then as Premier, I watched Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, in woefully inadequate facilities, evolve their summer program. It has made The Gros Morne Theatre Festival a national gem by capturing and retelling important stories about rural Canadian life.
The Festival’s ability to find and tell the stories that move us has earned the respect of international audiences both in Cow Head and on the multi-year tours that have resulted from the original works TNL has commissioned.
But the Set the Stage campaign isn’t just about bricks and mortar. Through believing in and creating opportunity for countless writers, actors and production personnel, the Festival enriches lives in all corners of this country and even on Broadway. TNL has delivered a wonderfully authentic tourism experience and it has positively impacted a community and a region facing tough economic times.
Both our federal and provincial governments have stepped up to help this Festival reach its full potential. Now I am asking the public and the private sectors to come together to help make this important project a reality. I’m excited by the possibilities these new facilities will create for our youth, for a rural economy and for the art of storytelling that we all appreciate so much.
The Honourable Brian Tobin Campaign Chair Gary Anstey Jim Burton Brian Johnson Michelle Melendy Barry Perry June Perry John Risley Anne Whelan Graham Watton, Q.C. Derek Young
Please join me in making a contribution to this important project.
Honourable Brian V. Tobin, P.C., O.C. Campaign Chair, Set the Stage 4 3
IT’S QUITE A STORY Picture the scene. It’s 1992, and Cow Head, like many communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, is devastated by the moratorium on cod fishing. Three years later, an idea took shape to create a new economic foundation based on theatre, tourism and a growing demand for authentic cultural experiences. Gros Morne National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, is acknowledged for its unique geography and breathtaking landscapes. Drawing its audiences from a loyal local following and more than 250,000 park visitors, GMTF accommodates more than 12,000 guests each season. The Festival operates a full 16-week theatre season presenting six to eight shows per season, six days per week. Houses are packed and each year the buzz around the Festival brings more and more audience members from around the world. The local impact is
huge. GMTF has become an anchor attraction for the area and an important employer, supporting local growth and sustainability. But the impact isn’t just local. Today, GMTF is acknowledged as a major Canadian theatre festival. Plays that first come to life in Cow Head have gone on to successfully tour Canada and the world. Through its relationship with the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University, GMTF has helped young theatre artists launch careers that continue to have an impact on Canada’s national arts scene. It doesn’t stop there. Student exchanges, writers in residence programs and collaborations with national and international theatre artists mean that GMTF is much more than a theatre season. Anchored by its rich and unique brand of storytelling, it has become a source of inspiration for communities and rural theatre companies throughout Canada and beyond.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON The Gros Morne Theatre Festival currently operates from two performance venues in Cow Head. The main stage is the 92-seat Warehouse Theatre, a privately owned building leased for a nominal fee. The second venue, the 98-seat Ethie Room, is a conference room situated in the nearby Shallow Bay Motel. As a multi-use space, the Ethie Room presents significant technical limitations for production staff. Neither venue can support current audience demand; on many nights, as many visitors are turned away disappointed as are admitted. Existing spaces for rehearsal, costuming, set design and storage have always been cramped and/or shared-use spaces such as the local church hall. Seasonal accommodations for actors and staff have become increasingly difficult to find and maintain. All these things limit the types of projects that the Festival can take on.
THE NEXT ACTS The vision for a new theatre facility is never just about the space. Itâ€™s about what will happen in it and around it; even more actors, playwrights and producers from across this country will have the opportunity to collaborate and grow in this prolific, creative environment. All this adds up to more opportunity to make stronger connections that enhance the audience experience. The 180-seat theatre facility will eliminate the need to operate from the most constraining of the two existing venues (the Ethie Room) and provide appropriate spaces for workshops, rehearsals, costume and set development, and storage. The legendary Warehouse Theatre, where GMTF first began, will host smaller performances and continue to be a key part of the Cow Head theatre experience. These additions and improvements will increase the Festivalâ€™s seating capacity from 190 to 272; a 45% increase. This will contribute significantly to the sustainability of the festival and community, and positively impact the wider arts community for years to come.
THEATRE AND REHEARSAL HALL This will do more than answer the call for more seats. The new stage will be three times larger, accommodating more ambitious performances with improved sound and more lighting versatility. A dedicated rehearsal hall will double as a small performance venue.
LOBBY AND INTERMISSION AREA For the first time, GMTF will have a large enough lobby to share the anticipation beforehand, the excitement at intermission and the exchanges that take place afterward. A real lobby with a deck to connect a striking outdoors.
PRODUCTION AND STORAGE AREAS Adequate fabrication and storage facilities for production of costumes, props, sets, and scene painting means less time on logistics and more time to be creative. Accessible storage will facilitate repurposing and more efficient use of assets.
For the first time in 23 years, the Artistic Director will have an office. There will also be adequate space for the Company Manager, Production Manager, Technical Director, designers and stage managers.
The long-term vision includes upgrades and additions to modest on-site accommodations. The provision of comfortable living spaces within a campus-like setting is key to attracting and retaining talent and to the vision to do more workshops.
The new complex includes a state-ofthe-art kitchen facility, enabling the dinner theatre component of GMTF to operate more efficiently.
THE ART The enhanced space will facilitate even more creativity and innovation; more opportunity for collaboration with visiting artists. It will also accommodate productions that could never be considered in the current facilities. All resulting in more magic for audiences.
THE THEATRE PROGRAM Potential for program development throughout the year. For productions over a longer season. For more workshops and educational opportunities. Inspiration for more young theatre artists.
THE BIG PICTURE Think about a facility that underpins the sustainability of a unique piece of rural Canada. More visitors to the town. A creative and economic engine. A key cultural tourism attraction for visitors to Gros Morne National Park.
OUR STORIES PETRINA BROMLEY Broadway star Come From Away It’s an incredible, one-of-a-kind place. I know people say that about a lot of places but Gros Morne, with its UNESCO World Heritage designation, truly is incredible. The opportunity to live and create art in that environment for four or five months was just something unparalleled for me. Because you’re in this spectacular natural environment, you cannot help but be inspired for the work being done there. TNL feels strongly about cultivating new work, and in that sense it’s a wonderful place for writers. They are always looking for new material relevant to the place and to our culture. There are many amazing stories being created that would not be otherwise – if not for TNL. It’s also a remarkable place for young actors who are coming directly out of theatre schools like Memorial’s Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook. It provides a huge opportunity to step forward from a university experience to the professional world.
ROBERT CHAFE Tempting Providence Governor Generalâ€™s Award-winning playwright I was first approached by Gaylene Buckle and Jeff Pitcher in 2000. And they pitched this idea they had for a show about Nurse Myra Bennett, who I knew nothing about. Within a couple of months, I was rolling on writing what would become Tempting Providence. And that show went on to have a life with TNL, and still has a life with TNL, but it also went on to tour all over the world for about twelve years. And that project and commission, that play and experience and that tour, truly changed my life as an artist and as a person. What happened probably amazed me more than anyone else. To be sitting in a bar in Edinburgh and to have an artist from Ireland or Australia tell me that they saw their community in that play was ground-shaking for me. And it changed the way I work. All my work now is mining the local to find the universal, and itâ€™s been a tremendous gift. I think the true weight and influence of companies like TNL in telling Newfoundland narratives and sharing Newfoundland culture will never be calculated.
BERNI STAPLETON Award-winning writer, actress and artistic director People want stories that they cannot find anywhere else. And TNL has made this their own particular mark upon the international theatre market. They connect with other rural communities globally, and therefore it is not uncommon to find a British playwright upon the beaches of Cow Head, or a TNL production in Tasmania. They have altered the trajectory of my own career, commissioning me consistently over the years to write such plays as The Double Axe Murders and Our Fanny, and they have produced other works of mine such as A Rum for the Money and Brazil Square. The playâ€™s the thing with TNL, making them sought after by not only audiences, but by the crucial performers, playwrights, and designers from across the country who gravitate toward theatrical excellence. I could not imagine my life without TNL.
INSPIRE CREATIVE ENERGY SUPPORT A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Although the new centre will enable the GMTF to be more operationally self-sufficient, there is simply no room to place a burden of long-term debt on the Festival or the community. That’s why we are asking patrons of the arts and those who recognize the value of the Gros Morne Theatre Festival to help Set the Stage for a future that we can all benefit from. Historically, TNL has been fortunate to receive support from federal and provincial government sources and will again be able to leverage substantial capital dollars for this initiative. However, completion of this project relies on GMTF’s ability to raise a portion of the capital required from private sector sources. Please consider becoming involved this important campaign in one or more of the following ways:
Giving • A cash gift as a business or individual. • Donation of stocks transferred to the campaign fund. • As a friend, family member or employer, inspire others through pledging a matching gift.
Employee & Group Giving Programs • You may wish to initiate an employee giving program in your workplace or a group gift through your sports team, work or service club. The Set the Stage campaign office can support you in doing so.
Gift Plans • While every donation is acknowledged and appreciated, Set the Stage has established specific recognition programs for gifts of $5,000 or more. And we structure gift plans for donors who prefer to make a multi-year commitment.
RECOGNITION PROGRAM VISIONARY $500,000+ • Significant naming rights/recognition within the centre • Logo added to plaque in main foyer • Name on site signage during construction • Press event announcing gift • Photo opportunity and framed certificate • Designated officials invited to speak at all events • Listed on all campaign communications materials • Largest recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • First level logo recognition on TNL campaign website • Event preference
• Significant naming rights within the centre • Logo added to plaque in main foyer • Name on site signage during construction • Press event announcing gift • Photo opportunity and framed certificate • Designated officials invited to speak at selected events • Listed on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • First level logo recognition on TNL campaign website • Event preference
PIONEER $100,000 • Significant naming rights to areas within the centre • Logo added to plaque in main foyer • Designated officials invited to speak at one special event • Press event announcing gift • Photo opportunity and framed certificate • Listed on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • Second level logo recognition on TNL campaign website • Event preference
LEADING $50,000 • Naming rights to select areas within the centre • Logo added to plaque in main foyer • Designated officials invited to speak at one special event • Press announcement • Photo opportunity and framed certificate • Listed on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • Third level logo recognition on TNL campaign website • Event preference
STAGING $25,000 • Branded signage opportunity on the site • Name added to plaque in main foyer • Photo opportunity and framed certificate • Listed on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • Logo recognition on TNL campaign website • Event preference
DIRECTING DONOR LEVEL
• Name added to plaque in main foyer • Listed on selected communications materials • Recognition in print, web and social media promotions • Framed certificate of appreciation, recognition in print, web, and social media • Logo recognition on TNL website
CASTING DONOR LEVEL
Founding Families $1,000 Groundswell
• Name added to plaque in main foyer • Recognition in web and social media promotions
• Name added to plaque in main foyer • Recognition on website and social media
• Recognition on website and social media
Theatre Newfoundland is synonymous with our history of cultural storytelling, as seen through a universally relevant lens. Their forward-thinking notion that from whence we came was of value and deserved a world-wide stage honours rural communities everywhere, really. Berni Stapleton Actor, Writer & Director
The Honourable Judy Foote
The Honourable Brian Tobin, Campaign Chair Gary Anstey Paul Antle Jim Burton Brian Johnson Dean MacDonald Michelle Melendy Barry Perry June Perry John Risley Anne Whelan Graham Watton, Q.C. Derek Young
THEATRE NEWFOUNDLAND LABRADOR BOARD
CAMPAIGN PLANNING MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
Katrina Basha, Chair Karla Biggin Jane Brewer Stephanie Buckle Jerry Etienne Pamela Gill, Secretary Sherry Moulton, Treasurer Adrian Payne Carol Payne Rhoda Reardon Nora Shears Tarragh Shanahan David Smallwood, Past Chair Trina Simms, Vice Chair PilotÂ° Communications
Set the stage for Theatre Newfoundland