Friday, November 29, 2013

Canadian Heritage says no to....Heritage. Odd that.

So, after many years of receiving funding from the Canadian Heritage Foundation for one of this countries most important, creative, innovative, ground breaking and exciting festivals...The Rhubarb Festival... Buddies in Bad Times received the following letter yesterday regarding their application for a grant from a program called "Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage":

And Buddies had further communication with the Canadian Heritage office today...this was the result:

"When we contacted the department to get some more information about why we suddenly did not fit the funding criteria, we were told in very generalized terms that we no longer meet the objectives of the Canadian Heritage program Building Communities through Arts and Heritage. The stated objective of this program is: “to engage citizens in their local communities through performing and visual arts, as well as through the expression, celebration, and preservation of local historical heritage.”..."

Well...I am sure it is lost on no one who knows the work of this wonderful theatre company that this occurs at a time when a show that is called "The Gay Heritage Project" is running to rave reviews....RAVE the mainspace at Buddies in Bad Times.
Here is the description of what the GAY HERITAGE PROJECT is:

"Three of our country’s most gifted creator/performers set out to answer one question: is there such a thing as gay heritage? In their search, they uncover a rich history not often shared and shine new light on contemporary gay culture. The result is a hilarious and moving homage to the people who came before us and the events that continue to shape our lives.
After centuries of queer history being hidden in the closet and the loss of almost an entire generation to HIV/AIDS, The Gay Heritage Project is an important step in the excavation, preservation, and promotion of a community’s cultural history.
Using their personal histories and individual cultural heritages as jumping off points, each of the three creators behind The Gay Heritage Project set out to discover their connections to queer people and events in the past. Working closely with historian J. Paul Halferty, they spent hours researching the ancient anecdotes, secret correspondences, and overlooked footnotes that currently comprise queer history. What they discovered was an array of heroes and stories that inspire, comfort, challenge, and empower.
Paul, Damien, and Andrew bring these people and stories to life on stage in rapid-fire succession using a highly physical, comedic, and fast-paced performance style. They offer us an eclectic mix of historical characters and reenactments that shed light on the forgotten champions and occurrences that created our community. In doing so, they educate us about our past and inspire us to further unearth an expansive but overlooked part of our history."

9/10 from The Grid
4 NNNN's from Now Magazine
3 1/2 stars from The Globe and Mail
3 1/2 stars from The Toronto Star
The Gay Heritage Project actually encompasses EXACTLY what the programs mandate is...exactly, a way that would be hysterical if this denial of funds wasn't so god damned sad...and maddening...and pissedoffeding.
AND, before the emails begin, I know that this show isn't running during Rhubarb...but I bring this all up because...
Wait for it...and I am maybe you know it...but if you don't...THE GAY HERITAGE PROJECT was, at one time,  a part of what festival? 
The very festival that the Canadian Heritage Office is denying funding.
This is like a Rubics Cube that is all one colour, people.  
(This last statement made sense to me at 1:30am...just so you know where I am at.) 
Holy jesus...sweet soul...bunnies and have GOT to be friggen kidding...right?
Really...really and truly.
AGAIN, I know that this show is NOT the Rhubarb Festival...but since it was created, in part, during this bears...bares...I can never figure that one out...and I am too lazy to google bears/bares saying that...I read the twitter...voraciously....and the gay community... the LGBT community...THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE has been so moved...excited...everyone is literally buzzing about this show...have you seen the social media?....well, let me show you.

: Wow. Book tickets... Recommend it to everyone. Absolutely everyone. Only on another week.

Three actor/playwrights doing what they do best, all in top form = The Gay Heritage Project .

Saw tonight -- best, smartest, most innovative show I've seen all year. Can't recommend it enough!

Gay Heritage Project is inspired, intelligent, moving and joyous! Congrats and the whole team. Go check it out!

This is one of the finest shows in TO Check it out at b4 it closes Dec 8. My friend loved it too.

is probably the best play I've seen this year. Hysterically funny, deeply moving.

So moved by Thanks Damien, Paul for an inspired night of theatre

The Gay Heritage Project creative, provocative, intellectually challenging, hilarious. Terrific theatre!

Martin Morrow has high praise for The Gay Heritage Project :

Go see at , we need more theatre like this! I promise you'll laugh lots and you might even learn a thing or two.

If we owned a school (AND WE MIGHT SOMEDAY), we'd put from on the curriculum

Oh...and I could go on...there is SO much chatter and life surrounding this project...which is about finding the true heritage...of a community.  
That came out of the Rhubarb Festival.
I know.
You get it.
So, I ask you...if you find yourself ALSO is a state of gobsmackednes about this...are you interesting...intrigued...
Go here and read more about it...  

AND if you feel like contacting the minister regarding the denial of funding to Buddies, here's how you can reach her:

House of Commons
Room 532-N Centre Block House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Tel: 613 995-0579
Fax: 613 996-7571

I will be sending this to can bet.  

AND then, go see a show, all the shows at Buddies in Bad Times...because this theatre not only deserves your support...this theatre is pretty fucking awesome.





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