EDMONTON, Alberta, Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of its commitment to provide $1.25 million to help uplift Edmontonians and revitalize our community, EPCOR is pleased to announce the first wave of Heart + Soul Fund recipients, which includes the Citadel Theatre, the Downtown Business Association, and seven other arts organizations.
Funding is being provided to help these organizations adjust to the changing landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure they can continue offering world-class arts and cultural experiences that inspire and delight Edmontonians.
“The arts are a vital part of who we are. They lift us up in challenging times, encourage us to explore the boundaries between the possible and the impossible, and connect us through unique experiences,” said Jennifer Addison, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, EPCOR. “EPCOR’s Heart + Soul Fund will support Edmonton’s arts community as it creates new opportunities to connect us — whether two metres or two devices apart — and continue injecting drama and joy in our lives.”
With support from the Heart + Soul Fund, the Citadel Theatre is developing an online musical production of its annual holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol. The virtual production will go live in mid-December and run throughout the month. Funding for A Christmas Carol is in addition to EPCOR’s sponsorship of the Citadel’s Horizon Series, which shared conversations between BIPOC theatre industry leaders and the Citadel Associate Artist team: Helen Belay, Tai Amy Grauman, and Mieko Ouchi. For more information, visit citadeltheatre.com.
“We are so excited to have EPCOR as our first community partner in the creation of an online version of A Christmas Carol for this holiday season,” said Chantell Ghosh, Executive Director of the Citadel Theatre. “For 20 years, Edmonton's families have shared this holiday tradition with their loved ones. Thanks to EPCOR’s Heart + Soul Fund, the early investment allows us to safely build something delightful, and encourage those in Edmonton and beyond to bring this story into their homes. It is our hope that Citadel’s A Christmas Carol will bring tidings of hope and joy to our community, while providing much-needed work opportunities to those working in the arts.”
The Heart + Soul Fund will also help extend Downtown Live, an initiative created by the Downtown Business Association to draw visitors and promote business in downtown Edmonton. The initiative will directly fund artists to perform live at local businesses, fostering vibrancy, culture and connection in the heart of our city. An event schedule and further details can be found at edmontondowntown.com.
“We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and joy generated by over 50 Downtown Live performances between August and September,” said Nick Lilley, interim Executive Director of the Downtown Business Association. “We are so grateful that EPCOR’s Heart + Soul Fund will allow us to continue showcasing our community’s talented artists and incredible businesses through this program, through the rest of fall and into winter.”
Additional arts organizations and programs benefiting from the Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR include:
Play the Fool Festival
Occurred September 24 – 26, 2020
Hit That Jive Productions creates opportunities for dance and theatre artists to develop their craft and perform their work. Its largest project is the annual Play the Fool Festival, which presents clown theatre and physical comedy performances. The Heart + Soul Fund supported an online edition of the festival. For more information, visit playthefool.ca.
Edmonton Musical Theatre
September 2020 – March 2021
Edmonton Musical Theatre offers performances and high-quality instructional programs out of the Woodcroft Community Hall. The Heart + Soul Fund will help the organization adhere to health guidelines and implement safely protocols which will enable them to continue program development and rehearsals for the new season. For more information, visit edmontonmusicaltheatre.com.
SISTER: An Interactive Mystery
October 2 – 10, 2020
The Fox Den Collective is an entirely female-run Edmonton theatre collective specializing in highly interactive and site-specific work that celebrates areas around the city. In partnership with the non-profit Theatre Yes, and through support from the Heart + Soul Fund, the theatre collective has developed an all-new, interactive mystery play in which audience members participate as detectives via Zoom. For more information, visit thefoxdencollective.weebly.com.
2020 Edmonton Comedy Festival
October 14 – 17, 2020
Taking place at venues across the city, the Edmonton Comedy Festival stages world-class shows while supporting local talent. Funding provided by EPCOR will help ensure the show can go on with additional measures in place to protect festival goers. For more information, visit atbcomedy.com.
October 21 – 30, 2020
Latitude 53 Society of Artists is one of the largest and oldest artist-run centres in the Canadian Prairies, and serves as a major centre for contemporary art. The annual Schmoozy fundraiser supports artists to create exhibitions that are free and open to the public. EPCOR’s support will help the event adapt its in-person programming and develop new, online opportunities. For more information, visit latitude53.org.
October 23, October 30, and November 6, 2020
Teatro La Quindicina is presenting a series of variety/concert events to bring people back to the Varscona Theatre in Edmonton. Through support from the Heart + Soul Fund, the “Welcome Home” events will merge music, comedy, and a few surprises to reintroduce the local community to the theatre and restore confidence by making live events safer to enjoy. For more information, visit teatroq.com.
Punctuate! Playwrights' Circle
October 2020 – May 2021
Punctuate! Theatre helps provide exposure for local Edmonton artists and focuses on telling stories with Indigenous themes. With help from EPCOR, Punctuate! Theatre is launching Edmonton’s largest emerging playwrights’ circle for 14 artists to hone their craft and develop their theatrical works. For more information, visit punctuatetheatre.com.
EPCOR’s investment in COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery totals $2 million in 2020. This includes:
$1.25 million Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR.
$300,000 for the United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation.
$82,000 for local Edmonton charities from employee matching campaign.
More than $400,000 in top-up support for EPCOR’s existing Edmonton community partners and recovery efforts in the other jurisdictions EPCOR operates.
The $2 million for pandemic relief and recovery efforts is in addition to the $1 million EPCOR provides annually in community support.
For more information contact:
EPCOR, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The Company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 75 employer.