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Hello Theatre Lovers,

As I looked out my window this morning I had this strange thought that I had crept through the back of the wardrobe and was now in Narnia. We couldn’t possibly still be in our world! It was overcast and a dusting of snow covered everything on this supposed Spring day. I fully expected the White Witch to come galloping up to my window and finalize the deed by turning me into a frozen hunk of flesh! Oh C.S. Lewis, did you know something we did not?
Enough of this philosophizing, this is an unbelievable situation we are in? How are YOU handling it? As a person who works in the arts I am deeply connected to individuals who make their livings through their inherent need to connect with their audiences and their community. My heart is breaking for everyone who feels so alone, and for those unable to know if they can pay their rent or put food on the table. Friends and colleagues have lost their jobs on mass. I suppose for all of us it is that “unknown” that is the worst. What I do know is that we WILL come together again. It may take some time and it may look a little different, but we will come together again and we will tell the stories again!

For now I am going to write to you once a week and try to share ideas of how we can spend our time. There are so many wonderfully talented people sharing their skills on line. As many of you know I have a strong admiration for The Actors Fund of Canada. These are the folks who support arts workers when they most need it.
Tonight there is a very exciting live stream on YouTube called BIG GIRL & Friends, at 7PM ET | 4PM PT supporting The AFC - the lifeline for Canada's entertainment industry. Tune in this evening and watch live at this link:
Toronto Musical Concerts (TMC) Artistic Producer, Christopher Wilson and Associate Director, Ryan Kelly will offer this daily YouTube Live stream beginning Monday, March 23. BIG GIRL & Friends features professional Canadian musical theatre artists sharing mini-concerts and conversations to promote awareness and support for The AFC’s vital services for those so vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Guest artists will share musical theatre songs and between performances, Christopher and Ryan will engage their guest(s) in fun conversation about the theatre industry, their personal career journey, how they are currently managing the realities of social distancing – and entertain questions from YouTube Live chat viewers. Throughout the stream, viewers will be able to donate with real-time updates provided by The AFC – and shout-outs will be provided by TMC to donors generously contributing. The AFC - the lifeline for Canada's entertainment industry, supports professionals working in ALL aspects of film and television, theatre, dance and music.

Featured professional Canadian musical theatre guest performers (many who have performed for Theatre Collingwood) will be: Thom Allison, Jewelle Blackman, Adam Brazier, Alana Bridgewater, Louise Camilleri, Mark Cassius, Alessandro Costantini, Michael De Rose, Bruce Dow, Gabi Epstein, Jake Epstein, Sara Farb, Tenja Hagenberg, Arinea Hermans, Kelly Holifff, Gavin Hope, Tara Jackson, Chilina Kennedy, Jeigh Madjus, Robert Markus, George Masswohl, Charlotte Moore, Tracy Michailidis, Erica Black, Jesse Sherman, Sarah Strange, Astrid Van Wieren, and many more to be announced! Enjoy!
So back to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Mr Tumnus……please come help us! Or better yet, could you ask the Lion to make an appearance!

Be well and stay happy, folks. Call a friend. Wash your hands and practice social distancing. Most of all, know that we will be together again soon!

Erica

Erica Angus
Executive Director, Theatre Collingwood