DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Jodi Sprackman with the Rosedale on Robson

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Jodi Sprackman with the Rosedale on Robson

Can you tell us how the Rosedale on Robson first got involved with The Cultch?

Our long-standing partnership with The Cultch began in 2001 when we were approached to discuss accommodating your artists during the theatre season. This is our 17th year as a hotel sponsor, and we still love welcoming The Cultch’s artists to the Rosedale!

What has surprised you and your colleagues most about partnering with The Cultch?

The great relationships we’ve forged with many of the people who work at The Cultch.

Over the years there have been several artists who have made the Rosedale on Robson their home while touring shows to The Cultch.  Are there any highlights or memorable moments from meeting the artists?

Meeting Miriam Margolyes when she stayed with us in 2012 while performing in a one-woman show entitled Dickens Women. She is an award-winning actress and a long-time veteran of film, television and theatre. She was funny, outspoken and gracious (we chatted a few times during her stay), and made such an impression on us that we even changed our pool hours to accommodate her schedule (and we haven’t changed them back since!).

Jodi, can you tell us a bit more about what you do in your role as the Director of Community Relations?

I am responsible for all things community-related, with a primary focus on sponsorship agreements with various performing arts organizations. Accommodations are a big part of their budgetary requirements, and because we have the means to help out in this area, we do.

Because we’re an all-suite hotel that also happens to be located in the heart of the entertainment district, artists really enjoy staying with us. It’s an easy walk to a variety of theatres (and not too far a drive from The Cultch), and they love the convenience of having their own kitchen, especially after getting “home” after a late performance.  Working with theatre companies and festivals is a natural partnership that has flourished over the years.

How important do you think it is that the arts organizations continue to cultivate and sustain partnerships with corporate sponsors?

I think it’s crucial to create and foster these partnerships. The very nature of sponsorships focuses on building relationships where different organizations can help support one another. The reason we primarily focus on these organizations is because the arts are notoriously underfunded and are always in need of assistance from the community. The arts tend to be overlooked, and cultural events are often forced to be put on the back burner, having to be either scaled back or cancelled.

We believe that the arts are an integral part of our community as a whole, and partnering with various organizations helps foster the commitment the Rosedale has to the overall support and promotion of the arts in Vancouver. We’re committed to playing a part in helping to enrich our cultural community.

What are you curious about right now?

People. My kids say I’m nosy, but I’m really just interested (and maybe just a little bit nosy). Everyone has a story. I like learning about people and their lives.

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:; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

200th Anniversary of Dickens: What makes his prose so timeless?

By Roanne Ward

Award-winning British actress Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Romeo + Juliet) brings her one-woman show, Dickens’ Women, to The Cultch this week setting out to discover the man himself.  The play is as much about Charles Dickens as it is about the twenty-three characters performed by Margolyes. These characters are drawn from his novels and sketches and include both the iconic and famous individuals including Mrs. Gamp, Miss Havisham and other, lesser-known creations from Dickens’ books. They all offer a unique glimpse into the real life of Charles Dickens.

Dickens’ Women is just one of many bicentennial events celebrating the author’s birthday this year. Some 142 years after his death, people around the world are still reading, performing and discussing Dickens’ work. At least 180 motion pictures and TV adaptations based on Dickens’ works have been produced.

So what is it that makes Dickens’ work so timeless? At the young age of 24, Dickens’ first novel, The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club (The Pickwick Papers), was published. Dickens provided text to a series of illustrations depicting cockney sporting life, which he would later tie into a more cohesive novel written under the pseudonym ‘Boz.’ With this he gained instant success. He would then go on to write 14 more novels, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, and would lecture and perform spirited readings of his work. He was the literary celebrity of his time. From The Pickwick Papers to Oliver Twist to Great Expectations, Dickens’ stories were filled with complexity and moral analyses that reflected on our own lives.

The times may have changed but the themes still translate and resonate today. Dickens often commented on the ‘hard times’ of Victorian London, warning us of the dangers of greed and the effects of poverty. With global economies facing challenging financial times, Dickens’ cautionary tales have never been more apt, illuminating the destructive power of money in society. Just as Fagin and his gang of juvenile pickpockets took to the streets of London in Oliver Twist, so did hundreds of teenagers in the 2011 London riots after a long and brutal recession. In A Christmas Carol, Dickens holds up the mirror to show us the corrosive power of greed through the wonderfully dark Ebenezer Scrooge.

Dickens created over 2000 multi-dimensional characters and rather than letting them lie flat on the page he gave them life. Margolyes says he had the ability to reveal the most interesting fact about people, which is that we all have secrets. Through his many characters we are exposed to the most intimate and complex of secrets, satisfying our inner-voyeur by being privy to such intimate thoughts and prompting self-analysis. He wrote on many social issues: housing, sanitation, education, labour laws and was a true advocate for the arts believing that “enriching people’s life with knowledge and enjoyment of the arts was key to building a fair society and creating opportunities”. Margolyes says, “I think our society needs mending. I think Dickens knew it and I think all his writings are testaments to the necessity to lead a moral life and the strange thing is that he didn’t do it himself and that’s the paradox that my show explores.” She and many others have commented on his writing as being incredibly effective for the stage and Dickens himself said that “every writer of fiction, though he may not adapt the dramatic form, writes in effect for the stage.”

Dickens’ Women runs at The Cultch until  December 1. Tickets start at $17and are available online at, by phone at 604.251.1363, or in person at 1895 Venables St.