Donor Spotlight: Ken Gracie and Philip Waddell
We recently chatted with long-time Cultch supporters Ken Gracie and Philip Waddell to learn more a bit more about why supporting The Cultch has been so important to them for so many years.
Ken and Philip, thank you so much for joining us in this edition of The Cultch’s Donor Spotlight! You have both been long-time subscribers and donors to The Cultch. Can you tell us how you first got involved?
K: This is pretty nostalgic; we are going back to the ’70s now. It was only the old Historic Theatre at that time. This is long before any refurbishment of any note. We have a nephew and niece, now in their late 30’s, who enjoyed the movies on the big screen at The Cultch on Saturday mornings. We loved to attend! The “kids” still recall it fondly. The Cultch was not an alternate theatre for that sake alone; it had a diversity of offerings, topics, performance method, and originality.
P: I have a fond recollection of my first time at The Cultch. It was the fall of 1976 and the production was Hossana. This type of theatre was totally new to me – it was raw and taboo and left a lifelong memory. Up until that point, my theatre experiences were mostly bland and felt too safe, this left me feeling unsatisfied.
It’s pretty amazing the impact that diverse and edgy programming can have. Phil, I love that your first Cultch experience left a lifelong memory, that’s such a gift!
K: And diversity is consistently relevant and nurtured by The Cultch. The conversations and the awakening that The Cultch offers are ongoing, and our attendance as subscribers is still our biggest theatre commitment.
Any show highlights?
P: Dickens’ Women, Empire of the Son and Children of God
What has surprised you most about working/partnering with The Cultch?
P: Through our involvement with The Cultch I have had the privilege of getting to know staff, volunteers and fellow patrons who have enriched my life with their knowledge and enthusiasm.
K: And the growth of The Cultch over the years to include the Jim Green House Studio, along with the management and presentations at the York Theatre speak to the strength and major talents in Vancouver’s theatre and arts community. The engagement with staff, opening receptions, talk backs, and performances are always anticipated with excitement. It is very connecting. The Cultch is our family by choice. We also really like our own families.
Speaking of families, I know you are both advocates of strengthening our community and making live performance accessible to everyone. Can you tell us what you wish other people knew about The Cultch?
K: We know that at The Cultch there is inclusiveness of all communities and economic/social backgrounds. Provisions are made to make the live performance experience accessible to those people who might otherwise feel it is beyond their means to attend. Opportunity can be transformational. We all benefit in the experience and it should be shared.
P: Because of the wide variety of topics addressed and expressed, each season at The Cultch provides the stimulation many of us need to take a fresh look at old assumptions.
The Cultch programming really does offer audience members a chance to experience a different perspective that might be out of their comfort zone.
P: Yes and because of opportunity for a fresh perspective, I highly encourage more people to include The Cultch and its productions into their year of theatre.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating to The Cultch but hasn’t made the move yet?
K: The Cultch offers a high quality Youth Program that focuses on life skills as much as creativity and innovation; community outreach and ticket subsidies are made available through Cultch Connects and The Cultch supports the development of artistic work. These offerings require financial support and commitment from those who enjoy and appreciate The Cultch and can help financially over and above buying a ticket. We view this as a charitable opportunity and investment worthy of consideration based on performance and delivery by The Cultch.
We are so grateful that you and Philip see the incredible value that The Cultch has in our community!
K: There are now theatre opportunities in the three affiliated venues of different size – the Historic Theatre, the Culture Lab, and the York Theatre. In the last 40 years The Cultch has had great significance in our lives. We have grown substantially older in our membership. The Cultch continues to keep us renewed and challenged.
And what about our current show, the East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves running at the York?
K: Who doesn’t love the Panto filled with kids and excitement and fun? LOOK BEHIND YOU!
Right? It’s absolutely heart-warming and inspiring! Thanks Ken and Philip!
As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today!
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001