The House at Pooh Corner 2018 performance
Students attend a performance of The House at Pooh Corner. Photo of Simon Miron, Cherissa Richards & Aaron Pridham by Leif Norman. Sets, Props & Costumes: William Chesney; Puppets: Shawn Kettner; Lighting: jaymez

Thank you for Decades of Support!

Since 2010, Kindergarten to Grade 3 students from Wayoata Elementary have been attending performances at MTYP every season. Budgeting for transportation on top of ticket prices can make it difficult for schools with economic barriers, like Wayoata, to afford to take students on field trips. Most years, they have received funding in Memory of Peter D. Curry to offset the cost.

“For many of our students, attending the theatre as a part of the school day is the only opportunity they will have to attend a live performance,” says Kerry Cressell, Principal at Wayoata Elementary School, which is part of the River East/Transcona School Division. “Without the Peter D. Curry Memorial Fund, we could not offer these opportunities. On behalf of our staff, students and families, I would like to thank you.”

Over the past five years, this Foundation has helped 45,330 young people and their families attend MTYP. After two and half decades of support, we are sad to say goodbye to the foundation that has enabled so many children the opportunity to participate in our programming. The Foundation in Memory of Peter D. Curry has concluded as part of a deliberate business decision by those overseeing the fund.

The Foundation did many good things in our community, including its support for MTYP. That support provided funds to subsidize the cost of attending plays for low-income families, bursaries for students in our Theatre School and contributed to our ability to offer free classes for Indigenous youth in our Native Youth Theatre program. Primarily, the support from the foundation enabled Winnipeg schools to send students to MTYP productions, or bring touring productions into their school. Their impact on this community was incredible and we are grateful for the opportunities they provided to youth in Winnipeg.

Before they closed their doors at the end of the year, the Foundation in Memory of Peter D. Curry sent us a kind farewell letter, about why they chose to support arts programs for youth for so many years. (We reprint it here with their permission).

“We live in a time when creative thinking, innovation, empathy, team work and collaboration, are seen as critical to long-term well-being. These are precisely the attributes which arts programs nurture. Children exposed to such creative thinking, are the ones who will some day launch companies, write good policies, cure diseases and build healthy, sustainable cities. It is nearly impossible to function in a complex world without a brain wired for creativity and community. It is this ability to utilize all the creative tools we have at our disposal, to think in many dimensions, and to communicate effectively with each other through different mediums, that provides the greatest hope for the future.

It is also, on a much deeper level, something that brings joy and completeness to our lives, regardless of whether we are at a kitchen party or Carnegie Hall.

And to be clear, this ability is just as important for those who build and serve, as it is for those who manage and lead.

Why are most of us moved when we listen to certain music, experience a painting or images, or watch a live performance? (Things so deeply imbedded that even years later in the depths of dementia, we remember.) Maybe it is one of the things that makes us uniquely human, gives us purpose and meaning, generates connection which is essential to a healthy society and a sustainable, peaceful planet.

After 25 years, our organization has come to the end of its natural life. This is one of the elements we have been proud to contribute to over the past two and a half decades; to ensure that every child experiences the power of human creativity. It has been a worthwhile investment with extraordinary returns. We encourage others to carry on the cause.” 

We wish to extend our deepest thanks to this foundation for supporting the creative minds of the future.