OTF Grant Supports The Foster Festival’s Resiliency

St. Catharines, Ontario – In 2022, THE NORM FOSTER THEATRE FESTIVAL received a $57,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to support their efforts to rebuild and recover from impacts of COVID-19. With this funding, The Foster Festival will, over 12 months, upgrade their website and database, develop a strategic plan and hire new staff; all of which support new programming and events in an effort to continue providing joy, laughter, and art to the community.

Jennie Stevens, MPP for St. Catharines: “The Arts sector was one of the hardest hit industries over the last two years. I am very pleased that the Ontario Trillium Foundation recognized the need to support local arts by providing The Foster Festival with this grant. The pandemic brought to light just how critical an online presence is, in a business’ ability to adapt to changing restrictions and environments. This grant will certainly make a positive difference in supporting arts in St. Catharines, while also supporting employees of the Foster Theatre Festival as a whole.

This funding was received April 19, 2022 and will support the sustainability of The Foster Festival as they move forward with a Pandemic-flexible model of producing professional theatre by Canadian Artists. The Foster Festival is a key contributor to the arts industry, providing opportunities for Canadian Actors, Playwrights, Directors, Designers and Technicians to have their talents highlighted on a professional stage; and by bringing laughter and joy to audiences through their “Humour with Heart” content. Thanks to the OTF funding and support, The Foster Festival will equip board members and employees with supports and training to implement new approaches, prepare for change and build resiliency with a new format of producing, and improve and increase ability to access financial resources through a self-managed box-office system.

The Foster Festival is grateful for this support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Emily Oriold, Co-Founder & Artistic Producer of The Foster Festival. “These funds help the Festival to remain flexible during this continued time of uncertainty for our industry. It supports our efforts to broaden our reach, diversify our offerings, engage even more artists, and build stronger partnerships with local businesses so we can all benefit.

It is The Foster Festival’s Mandate is to provide interest in and the study of the Canadian arts generally, to advance knowledge of, and appreciation of, arts and culture through theatrical performances and community programs, to provide education and instruction in the arts of theatre, to advance the development of theatre in Canada, and to conduct an annual Canadian theatre festival in Niagara.

The Foster Festival’s mission is to showcase the heart and humour of Norm Foster’s writing in a dedicated environment, employing the finest Canadian theatre practitioners and fostering and supporting emerging and established Canadian artists interested in Canadian stories that are entertaining but also deeply meaningful. The Foster Festival believes that everyone deserves access to the arts.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Since 2020, OTF has supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.