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GCTC receives multi-million dollar donation

Gift kicks off fundraising drive for new theatre

Credit: Colin Seaman

The Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) just got a whole lot greater – with a $2.5 million donation from the family of the late Irving Greenberg.

The regional theatre, now in its 30th season, announced Nov 5 that it had received the donation as part of its Making It Greater capital campaign for the construction of a new theatre facility.

In honour of the Ottawa family’s gift, GCTC’s new theatre – which will be built at the corner of Holland Ave and Wellington St – will be named the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre. The company is currently located at 910 Gladstone Ave.

Greenberg was the founder of Minto Developments, a leading building and development company.

Lorne Pardy, the theatre’s artistic director, says the new facility will allow the company to establish an annual new play festival, as well as the creation of “a wider range of material” in and around GCTC’s core programming.

He adds the new building will include “a 270-seat theatre, which is slightly larger than the one we have now, as well as a studio theatre.”

“It will allow us to take our place as what we really have become over the past 30 years, which is the major regional theatre of the area,” says Pardy.

Construction of the GCTC’s $9.5 million theatre centre is slated to begin early next year. Pardy says the company hopes to move into its new facility in time for the 2006-2007 season.

To date, the capital campaign has already secured gifts and pledges totalling $3.1 million, more than half of the GCTC’s fundraising goal of $4.75 million.

In addition, the City Of Ottawa has committed $1.3 million from its 2005 budget toward the project, which is expected to help the GCTC garner additional financial support from both the federal and provincial governments.

The company also hopes to raise additional funding through a small ticket surcharge, revenues from the sale of the existing theatre and retail licence fees.

The theatre’s fundraising campaign is expected to conclude in early 2005.

* For more information about how to contribute to the GCTC Making It Greater Capital Campaign, phone 236-5192 or visit