For Immediate Release

Community Response Brings New Hope to Guild Festival Theatre Group to hold “Fun” Fundraiser April 19th To Reach $35,000 Target

Scarborough, March 5, 2018: Strong grass-roots support from local residents, businesses and theatre-lovers across Toronto has brought Guild Festival Theatre (GFT) close to having enough money for its seventh season of outdoor plays at Scarborough’s historic Guild Park & Gardens.

Since January, the professional theatre company has raised more than $20,000 – nearly 60% of its immediate $35,000 goal. To put its campaign over the top, the GFT is holding a special Monte Carlo Night in April at the Guild Inn Estate. The event is organized by a group of community organizations eager to see top-quality arts and culture events continue in east Toronto.

“The response from our supporters really surprised us,” says Janet Heise, GFT’s Executive Producer. “The number of donations and the messages of encouragement we’ve received show how people really value having live theatre performed in the neighbourhood where they live and work.”

GFT, a registered charity, announced earlier this year that its 2018 season was in jeopardy and it required major new funding sources. That announcement came after a founding sponsor decided to move its support to larger events outside the arts/culture sector.

Heise said some examples of the public support received were memorable. One Guildwood resident launched an on-line funding site as soon as she heard about GFT’s financial crisis. That initiative has raised more than $3,700 for the not-for-profit theatre group.

Another supporter, who requested anonymity, arrived at Heise’s doorstep with a cheque that is the largest personal donation ever made to GFT.

These and additional contributions from dozens of individuals and companies mean GFT is now within reach of its $35,000 target.

“Our Monte Carlo Night next month is designed to be a fun way to raise the rest of the money and hit our goal in time to launch a full season this summer,” said Heise.

The April 19th event will feature games of poker, blackjack, roulette and more – all played for fun – with chances to win fabulous prizes. Also included are hors d’oeuvres and buffet provided by Guild Inn Estate, plus music, live entertainment and a cash bar. All proceeds go to the Guild Festival Theatre, with each ticket purchaser receiving a $50 charitable tax credit.

Tickets for GFT’s fund-raiser are $100 per person and now available at Full details are there online, including where and when tickets will be available for cash sales in Guildwood Village. Meanwhile, charitable donations to the GFT can continue to be made online at

Contact: Janet Heise, Executive Producer, Guild Festival Theatre


Words of praise for Guild Festival Theatre

From Robin Phillips, former artistic director of the Stratford Festival:

"The Guild Theatre … is an extraordinary setting. Here we have a venue that beckons from a fascinating past and offers the promise of an exciting future … offering time and space for both relaxing and stimulating entertainment.”

From media personality and broadcaster Michael Kramer:

 "A terrific theatre in a great landscape."

From writer/critic Paula Citron:

"A new theatre project that deserves to succeed."

From audience member Chris Stornell of Charlotte, North Carolina:

"My wife and I both work in the arts professionally and were in Ontario to see shows in Stratford and Shaw. A visit to Guild Festival Theatre turned out to be our favourite evening of the whole trip.... The acting performances were stellar… with fresh takes on the classic work, The Importance of Being Earnest...Thank you for a wonderful night of theater."

From Scarborough Mirror reviewer Maria Tzavaras:

“A well-deserved standing ovation was given to the cast and crew of Guild Festival Theatre’s opening night performance of Romeo & Juliet at the Greek Stage at the Guild Park…. This is the way everyone should see Romeo & Juliet … beautifully performed by a cast of amazingly talented actors.”

From Reviewer Allison Gerson:

“I’d definitely recommend making the trip out to Guild Park for She Stoops to Conquer. It’s yet another example of the many great summer theatre opportunities Toronto has to offer.”