Philanthropists John & Terry Hamilton, long-time supporters of Drayton Entertainment, have generously gifted the award-winning theatre organization with $500,000.
In recognition of this outstanding support, Drayton Entertainment will be naming the auditorium of the new Dunfield Theatre Cambridge in their honour. Theatre patrons attending the inaugural production of Mary Poppins in March will access the venue through the John & Terry Hamilton Auditorium.
"We are blessed with a cluster of arts and culture that is rapidly evolving and creating a significant impact on the economy and enhancing our quality of life," says John Hamilton. "We believe such innovation should be celebrated, which is why we made the decision to support Drayton Entertainment's fundraising effort with a substantial contribution to the cause."
"We are humbled by the generosity of the Hamilton family towards the arts community," says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. "We acknowledge this incredible support as an investment - not only in our organization, but in the future of the entire arts community in Waterloo Region. It is an exciting benchmark for family philanthropy."
The news was received warmly at City Hall in Cambridge.
"This is a tremendous gift, and will undoubtedly inspire future private sector support to myriad worthy causes in the City of Cambridge - from healthcare to education to social services," says Mayor Doug Craig. "Such gifts significantly enhance the economic, cultural, and social milieu of our great city. The Hamiltons are true community champions."
"In the 21st century, cities need to be strategic about how they build and sustain creative ecologies," adds Hamilton. "They need to find new ways to bend the market so that creative space can be fully developed. We are proud to support such vision."
Construction is nearing completion on the new 500-seat Dunfield Theatre Cambridge, located at 46 Grand Ave. S. in the historic neighbourhood of Galt. The facility will operate year-round and include Drayton Entertainment's programming as well as myriad community events.
The $14.0 million city-owned facility is expected to be completed on budget. As part of its contribution to the project, Drayton Entertainment (a not-for-profit registered charitable organization) is tasked with fundraising $4.5 million for specialized equipment and other items not covered through government funded programs. A public campaign geared at grassroots support will be launched at the end of February.