‘The Biggest Challenge We’ve Ever Faced’: How BC Non-Profits Survived COVID-19 and At What Cost
For the first time in 20 months, the Arts Club Theater Company opened its performance venue to the public on November 18, with a new take on a classic holiday play.
Stanley Industry Union Stage’s 620 seats have been empty since the start of the pandemic – before Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol kick off the theater company’s 2021/2022 season.
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“COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we have ever faced,” chief executive Peter Cathie White told Global News.
Western Canada’s largest theater company canceled more than 20 shows before becoming one of the first in the country to resume live performances – with one-act performances, a rigorous process strict about the pandemic and the audience was 50 people in September 2020.
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“We used to hire between 300 and 500 artists a year, and we got down to 20 people,” says Cathie White.
With sales down 92%, the nonprofit relies on its grants, fundraising, and rainy day funds to prevent losses of up to $5 million this season.
“This is the rainiest day you can imagine for art,” added Cathie White.
As BC’s largest artist employer, the Arts Club Theater Company only plans to produce five shows in 2021/2022, so it’s likely to endure any further losses. .
Capacity restrictions for organized gatherings and live events have had a severe impact on movie theaters and other nonprofits that rely on live gala dinners. continue to collect a large portion of their fundraising dollars.
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“Over 60% of our revenue fell last year with virtual gala dinners,” says Denise Praill of the Canuck Place Childcare Institute.
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With over $1 million, the nonprofit serving more than 800 children and families as the province’s only pediatric palliative care provider has worked hard to narrow fundraising gap.
Development director Denise Praill told Global News: “At Canuck Place, we are the do-it-yourself little house.
“Our team has been incredibly creative over the past 18 months.”
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The Canuck Place Childcare Institute launched a successful 50/50 lottery and raised over $1.5 million with the number 17NS The annual Time Gift Gala on October 30, a hybrid event welcomed hundreds of guests both physically and in person.
Children’s Hospital BC has halted three gala dinners and live events in two years and turned the Miracle Weekend fundraiser into a virtual storytelling event.
President and CEO Malcolm Berry told Global News: “Our childcare has not stopped because of the pandemic.
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The nonprofit, which helps fund care for nearly 100,000 sick children each year, was able to combat a seven percent revenue shortfall with online events, dream raffles, and the support of charities. benevolent sponsors.
“I think we’ve worked hard to make sure that the business model can handle really tough challenges like COVID,” Berry said.
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Tickets for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation 35NS Crystal Ball celebrates November 20th, offering in-person and in-home experiences – sold out, except for the $500 virtual-only option.
Like other nonprofits, the Arts Club Stage Company hopes the recent easing of restrictions in much of the province to allow 100% capacity at indoor events and theaters where got the BC Vaccination Card – will help the stage again.
Cathie White said: “We’ve seen ticket sales skyrocket as people realize that everyone around them will be getting the double vaccine as well.
“It means a way forward, it means there is a future.”
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