News | MT Space Loses Significant Provincial Grant for IMPACT 19 Festival
MT Space Loses Significant Provincial Grant for IMPACT 19 Festival
WATERLOO REGION (June 6, 2018) – MT Space, Waterloo Region’s premier multicultural theatre organization, regrettably announces that it has been rejected for a provincial grant it was counting on to support its 6th biennial IMPACT International Theatre Festival this September.
IMPACT festival has continuously received support from the Ministry of Tourism, which operates Celebrate Ontario, which ranged from $35,000 and $60,000. MT Space requested an increased amount of $70,000 this year to grow the festival, hoping that the festival’s artistic success last year would qualify it for a larger grant.
But in a letter dated May 31, Celebrate Ontario notified MT Space that its application was unsuccessful, saying only that the total funding requested exceeded available funding and that “not all applications could be supported”. Normally, Celebrate Ontario grant results are released in mid-April.
“It was quite disheartening to receive this news from Celebrate Ontario” says MT Space Artistic Director Pam Patel. “This has resulted in cancelling our collaboration with sister organization, Neruda Arts, which was to offer a free outdoor component of our festival. This has also resulted in cutting short the extended run of our own home production, AMAL, which tells the story of a Syrian refugee family.”
“I would think that a festival striving to centralize racialized and marginalized stories while creating a nexus of exchange between international, national, and local artists would address some priorities. What I can hope for now is that this raises awareness of the work we are trying to do with like-minded organizations, and awareness of the importance and value of arts and culture in telling stories and bringing together communities.”
For its part, MT Space intends to go forward with the festival despite the lost revenue. The IMPACT Festival is a recipient of other federal, provincial and local grants. The organization also hopes to recuperate some of the losses through crowdfunding, sponsorships and individual donations.
MT Space has left an important mark on the Waterloo Region arts community and the Canadian arts dialogue. In 2017, IMPACT Artistic Director and MT Space Founder Majdi Bou-Matar was recognized by the Canadian Arts Presenting Association as Presenter of the Year for his work with IMPACT International Theatre Festival.
“Audiences in Waterloo Region, and beyond, benefit when there is a plethora of artistic content here” says Matt White, Artistic Director of Green Light Arts. “The IMPACT Festival brings theatre and dance pieces from across the globe and introduces audiences to stories and artists they otherwise might not have a chance to see and learn about. The IMPACT Festival is a valuable contributor to the burgeoning arts and culture scene here.”
MT Space (founded 2004, Kitchener) is a multicultural theatre company that creates, presents and tours challenging work locally, nationally and internationally, as well as producing the biennial IMPACT theatre festival. Find out more at mtspace.ca, or follow us on Facebook.
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Alan Li, Marketing and Communications Coordinator