Gateway Theatre Guild has a long tradition of serving North Bay and its surrounding region. The nature of this service extends well beyond the Guild’s obvious goals of providing opportunities for the community to see, learn more about and become directly involved in, quality theatrical productions. Here are some highlights from GTG’s outreach activities over the past decade:
Charity Night Performances
These are special opening night or final dress performances of Guild productions, with all ticket sales going to support a charitable cause. Charities which have benefited from these performances include Alzheimer’s Society, Choral Society Cares, AIDS Committee of North Bay, Kids Sport, Palliative Care Network, White Water Gallery, One Kids Place, Nipissing Serenity Hospice and the Military Family Resource Centre.
The Guild has also taken part in other community fundraising initiatives. Examples include: (i) hosting a “Talent Night Fundraiser” for the Cancer Society, in conjunction with another local theatre group; (ii) with the same other theatre group, multi-year participation in the Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life” (over $15,000 raised, in total); and (iii) hosting a Hallowe’en “Haunted House” (on two separate occasions) in support of Patrick4Life.
GTG regularly offers workshops, open to both Guild members and members of the public-at-large who may be interested in developing theatre-related skills and/or getting involved in our productions. Topics covered in recent workshops include musical theatre (3 times), stage design, lighting design, stage managing, directing, producing, stage combat and laughter yoga.
Community Involvement and Mentoring
Through 28 shows in the last ten years, the Guild has enabled literally dozens of citizens to experience, often for the very first time in their lives, the thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes with being part of the cast or crew for a quality theatrical production. In the case of key production roles, targeted one-on-one mentoring has been, and remains, an important and valuable strategy. For example: (i) a first-time director, producer or lighting designer being mentored by a highly-qualified counterpart; or (ii) directors, producers or stage managers bringing in and training assistants to help prepare them for the top positions in potential future productions.
On more than one occasion, a selected Guild member has been sponsored (registration, lodging and meals) to attend one of the summer intensive courses offered by Theatre Ontario. For many years, GTG has also sponsored a bursary for a graduating high school student intending to pursue further education in theatre or performing arts.
In 2009, the Guild hosted an “Open Theatre Night”, in which a short original play entitled “Push” was workshopped. The subsequent short film of the play went on to win the “From The Heart” Short Film Contest.