Donor Spotlight: Michael Hedden with Dignity Memorial

Donor Spotlight: Michael Hedden with Dignity Memorial

This February, for our Donor Spotlight, Natalie Schneck, our Development Associate connected with Michael Hedden of Dignity Memorial.

Thank you so much for joining us in this edition of The Cultch’s Donor Spotlight, I am delighted to interview you, Michael!

How and when did you first get involved with The Cultch?

Jamie and I attended a performance with our dear friends and former neighbors, Maureen and Bob. We were so impressed and invigorated with the quality of the performance, that we made a conscious decision to see as many of the remaining performances of that season. What a revelation to find this gem in our city. As a patron, I feel as if I belong to something bigger. Sitting in that audience, I become part of this cathartic ebb and flow of the human experience. I believe storytelling in all of its artistic forms is vital to understanding ones journey as an individual, as a family and a community.

Please tell us a little about the work you do with Dignity Memorial:

As a funeral professional, I facilitate and help families tell the story of their loved one who has passed on. I provide a platform upon which a family can build a tribute that incorporates cultural, religious and personal preferences that directly reflect and honour the person who has lived. Through spoken word, music, and imagery we bring people together to express our loss, love and gratitude for the person we are remembering. I currently manage our Ocean View property located in Burnaby.

Michael, was there a turning point when you realized The Cultch is an organization
that fits the altruistic mandate and community mindedness of Dignity
Memorial?

With my reference to storytelling it was an obvious fit right from the start. I am privileged to work for a company that encourages its employees to participate in the community we live and work in. I believe it is imperative that when able, one’s philanthropy benefit a diverse community. Funding for the arts is vital to our wellbeing and contributes to a healthier community.

Recently, Dignity Memorial became an integral part of our Legacy Giving
program – Can you tell us what this means to you and how it aligns with The
Cultch and its future growth?

Legacy Giving is an undeniable way to make sure that your support for The Cultch continues after you are gone. Let us be honest, you cannot take your money with you when you die. As individuals, we have the opportunity to make a meaningful statement that reflects ones commitment to the arts in life and in death.

Do you feel that Dignity Memorial’s partnership with The Cultch is creative? In what ways?

I don’t know that the partnership is creative per say, but I am proud of the fact that through our continued sponsorship and support, Dignity Memorial and The Cultch are able to showcase the Arts, in all of its glory, to our community and makes it accessible to as many people as possible. Together, I would like to think we bring the best of performance art to Vancouver.

Has there been a Cultch show that you just can’t forget?

Oh, that is a tough one; there have been many for sure. Two still resonate with me, Big Mouth in 2016 and La Merde in 2017. So inspiring that I still get goose bumps when I think of them.

Finally, what are you curious about right now?

I continue to be fascinated and curious about the way in which we communicate with each other in today’s world. It comes back to that ebb and flow of the human experience. Acknowledgement, humility, acceptance, forgiveness…I believe we are all part of the story; it is exciting to think about how we influence the outcome.

Thank you!


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! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

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