‘Unscripted’: Canadian Stage Fundraiser, June 25, 2009

T.U. Dawood



Arts and culture are still in a nascent stage in Toronto and it’s exciting to see the talent and energy of upcoming talent.

The Visionaries Council was formed almost a year ago to provide a free forum for networking and leadership development for young professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 years.  Run by The Canadian Stage Company, the program provides mentoring, career enrichment, social exchange and community involvement opportunities with Canadian Stage senior artists, executive, board and associated community leaders.  So far, it has already grown 250 members.

Recently, the Visionaries Council held their wrap up fundraiser for the season.  Titled “Unscripted” and with the tag line “unexpected … unconventional … unrestricted,” it was truly a night where anything could happen.
Held at the courtyard of The Canadian Stage Company’s Berkeley Street Theatre, the evening included cuisine by 18-year-old prodigy executive chef and master charcutier Luke Hayes-Alexander, who was recently featured in Toronto Life magazine, music by award winning DJ Jeff Kirkwood, impromptu song and surprise by host Sharron Mathews and some guest artists from the Toronto theatre and music scene, as well as an optional tour of the company, whose extensive collection of props is a key resource for many theatre companies in the city.
Michael Jackson had passed away earlier that afternoon and this loss was a key topic of conversation during the evening.  His music was celebrated and sung as part of the evening’s events.

While Chef Hayes-Alexander’s spread was impressive, unfortunately it lacked variety and most notably did not include sufficient vegetarian options.

The music was a highlight of the night and DJ Kirkwood definitely brought energy and fun to the evening.
“Unscripted” was scheduled as part of the three-week Festival of Ideas and Creation held at The Canadian Stage Company and featuring more than 350 theatre luminaries, emerging artists and youth in over 75 live events, most of them free.   Programmed by Festival Director Natasha Mytnowych, the Festival of Ideas and Creation which was founded in 2006 has become an annual event.

She shares with Prospere, “We were excited to create an event that exposed the “behind the scenes” of our theatre company, with impromptu creative surprises and special guests.”

The evening was a pleasant way to spend a summer night and for an important cause. It was a pity the event wasn’t more extensively marketed as many more people would have come out had they known about it.  Perhaps next year…