Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Giulio Recchioni

Can you tell us how the Italian Cultural Centre first got involved with The Cultch?

Our very first time at The Cultch was in March 2012 with FRESCO, a play the Italian Cultural Centre commissioned from Lucia Frangione and BellaLuna Productions, telling the lesser known story of the internment of Italian citizens in Canada during WW2.

However the first proper partnership with The Cultch was in May 2017 with LA MERDA, featuring a naked Silvia Gallerano sitting on a stool on a dark stage… what a tough show that was!

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

I was surprised by the richness and diversification of the shows offered at The Cultch, and also by the number of people that created a community around this historical institution in Vancouver;  some of the audience changes according to what’s playing, but there is also a hard core audience that comes to every show. I think that’s great. They trust The Cultch, they know whatever gets put on stage will be good and will have an impact on them, and they come with an open mind.

Over the years, the Italian Cultural Centre has supported several Cultch shows. Are there any highlights or memorable moments?

I still can’t help but smile when I think of Pss Pss and what they did with the ladder. Pss Pss was a funny show by Compagnia Baccalà that made adults and children laugh with non-verbal humour. In our line of work, cross-generational and cross-cultural are adjectives we use constantly, but this show brilliantly embodied both concepts.

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

It’s of paramount importance. The population is growing in this expensive city, and we are also seeing the consequential multiplication of cultural and artistic organizations. Often putting up cultural activities costs more money than ticket sales can generate, and government grants (municipal, provincial, federal) do not always keep up with the growing demand for funds. I hope more and more thriving businesses will want to share some of their wealth with the local community to keep this city interesting and interested.

What are you curious about right now?

I am curious about the new Creative City Strategy that the City will be rolling out – hopefully soon. There have been a number of explorative meetings to get an idea of what is needed in the arts and culture sector, and I can’t wait to see how all that knowledge will convert into an action plan.

Do you have a favorite show?

This is always such an unfair question… I see a decent number of shows throughout the year, and I have to constantly update my list of favourites. If I had to single out something I saw recently, though – I am a jazz fan, and I was lucky enough to go to Pyatt Hall for the live concert of the great baritone sax player, Gary Smulyan, with strings. He is a powerhouse!


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

Donor Spotlight: Lynda Stokes

Donor Spotlight: Lynda Stokes

Lynda, can you tell us about how you first got involved with The Cultch?

I first got involved with The Vancouver East Cultural Centre as an audience member. The first show I recall was the Holy Body Tattoo’s Circa in 2000, shortly after I moved to Vancouver. It was a remarkable, tango-influenced duet between Dina Gingras and Noam Gagnon with film and a live band, the Tiger Lilies. I became a regular season subscriber and then a donor and a few years ago I was asked if I would be interested in joining the Board.

What has surprised you most about volunteering with The Cultch? 

As an audience member who is also on the Board and therefore privy to the financials, it is amazing how subsidized tickets are! We think of artists and venues benefitting from government grants and sponsorships, but really it is the audience who benefits. Accessibility is a priority for The Cultch and staff work hard to keep ticket prices low and pay it forward by making tickets available for free through the Cultch Connects Program. Regular monthly donations really help with cash flow, I recently learned (although this should not have surprised me). 

Your legal practice spans several years – can you tell us how this skill set intersects with your involvement at The Cultch?

My practice consists predominantly of solicitor and advisory work on behalf of local governments. Basically, I practice municipal law and I do not go to court. There was a vetting process when I looked into joining the Board and for whatever reason I was feeling pretty flat and lacklustre when I was interviewed but I sold myself by expressing an interest in being the Board Secretary and preparing  meeting minutes. I read, write and think for a living and while I really enjoy my work, I also recognize that most people would find a lot of what I do very tedious. I do not act as a lawyer for The Cultch, but because of my legal skills and experience, I understand Board governance and I am happy to help with important but boring bits like minutes, bylaws and contract negotiations.

Can you tell us what you wish other people knew about The Cultch?

I suspect that many people know more about The Cultch than I do! It has such a long history as an important performing arts institution in Vancouver, and I know that Cultch staff engage, and are connected with many, many people locally, nationally and internationally. If I have to wish, though, I wish more people knew that it is worth the risk. Get a subscription. Invite your friends. The upcoming season looks fantastic, and it’s easy to book a whole year’s worth of entertainment and take care of birthday and other presents. You will be grateful you did when rainy winter inertia takes hold. And you can always change the dates of your tickets if something comes up. 

Is there a Cultch show that has really inspired/stayed with you? 

I just saw The Explanation and really enjoyed it. It reminded me of some of the shows that influenced me in when I was in high school – like Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna and Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls (shout out to the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, particularly its experimental Under Grand series). The Explanation is a really lovely, empathetic exploration of a relationship and a reconciliation of self.

I am partial to dance and I really loved Company 605’s The Sensationalists from 2015 (full disclosure – I recently joined the 605 Board) and Frédérick Gravel’s All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey from 2016. Wow those were great shows.

What are you curious about right now?

I am curious about engaging with others in The Cultch, so I am trying to start up a Cultch Club. I see it as a kind of book club alternative for theatre and theatre adjacent nerds by theatre and theatre adjacent nerds, without a lot of rules or terrible attitudes. I am curious about how can we use The Cultch to connect with other people. The potential of theatre many of us recognized at a young age: “Wherever you are from, welcome home.”

  • If you are interested in joining The Cultch Club please email Georgia Beaty, Patron Development Associate (georgia@theculch.com ) and she will put you in touch with Lynda Stokes

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

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Kath Bourchier

DONOR SPOTLIGHT:  A conversation with Kath Bourchier

Kath Bourchier with Alberta’s sweetheart, Mrs Edna Rural!

Kath, you have been involved with The Cultch in many different ways. Can you tell us what first attracted you to the organization?

I first became involved with The Cultch when I managed provincial sponsorships for Alcan Aluminium Limited (now Rio Tinto). Heather Redfern’s predecessor Duncan Low visited me to discuss whether we could find some mutually-beneficial basis for a partnership. In 1996, we developed the $60,000 Alcan Performing Arts Award to be granted annually to a B.C. performing arts company for the development of new work. I am very proud that this award lasted for 14 years, funding many of the B.C. companies that have gone on to win international acclaim. When I left Alcan in 2001, after 26 years, and was no longer in a conflict-of-interest position, Duncan recruited me to The Cultch Board of Directors, which I served for 15 years. I was Board Chair when we broke ground on our incredible renovations. And, as Chair, I hired Heather, perhaps my proudest accomplishment of all.

Reoccurring gifts are important for the sustainability of The Cultch. Why did you choose to become a monthly donor?

I became a monthly donor when I was elected Board Chair, primarily to set an example for other Board members.  We have never required Board members to be donors but I’ve always believed that, as Directors of not-for-profit organizations, we’re on more solid ground to solicit donations from others if we’re financially invested ourselves. My monthly donations come out of my bank account automatically. I budget for them, and this is the most painless way I know to watch affordable donations add up to significant contributions. I have also learned, over the years, how important monthly donations are to The Cultch as a consistent and reliable source of revenue. It’s not the amount of one’s monthly donation that is important; it’s the accumulative value over time. For me, it’s immensely satisfying to contribute an amount I can afford on a monthly basis to an organization to which I am deeply committed because it enriches our lives. Try it … I guarantee you’ll like it!

You have several years’ experience working in strategic communications; can you tell us how this skill set intersects with your involvement at The Cultch?

Once in a rare while, I provide some advice that seems to help (or so they’re kind enough to tell me). But we have such a bright, young staff that do such a good job of looking after our donors, our patrons, and the marketing challenges that I think they’re just indulging me.

Can you tell us what you wish other people knew about The Cultch?

Easily. I wish they knew the lovely sense of community available to them. Challenging shows, good friends, wonderful conversations. And the loveliest sense of commitment to something bigger than ourselves.

What are you curious about right now?

I am always curious about what Heather will identify next. She is an extraordinary programmer who brings to Vancouver audiences things we need to see and hear and experience.


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

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: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001