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Optimist club donates to Theatre Collingwood youth camp

The money was raised through community fundraising efforts like the Mother of All Yard Sales and the rubber duck race


Theatre Collingwood is delighted to announce that the Optimist Club of Collingwood and South Georgian Bay has pledged $5,000 from their recent fundraising initiatives to support the not-for-profit arts organization in continuing to offer subsidized theatre camps for children.

“This donation from the Optimists helps Theatre Collingwood provide an important service to the community,” says executive director, Erica Angus. “It’s no secret that arts education has suffered from funding cuts, and we see our youth program as helping to fill a void in children’s education. Our camps introduce students to various elements of theatre arts while providing them with a safe and inclusive environment to learn important life skills such as public speaking, teamwork and self-confidence.”

The Collingwood Optimists have supported young people in the community through many different programs including sports and music programs, and now also, drama education. While the Club had to put some of their annual events on hold due to COVID-19, they were finally able to bring back their major spring fundraiser, the Mother Of All Yard Sales in May. This giant yard sale takes place at the Collingwood Curling Club where all items are donated and resold at terrific prices. Other community events run by the Optimists include their annual Canada Day pancake breakfast and the ever-popular rubber ducky race.

“Our service club members are passionate individuals who work together to make the future brighter for children in our communities and we are very pleased to support Theatre Collingwood in their efforts to create opportunities for young people to express themselves creatively and to develop important life skills through drama education,” says Club President Sean Rennie.

Although Theatre Collingwood has offered March Break and summer drama camps for many years, the pandemic created a pause in their youth program and the company found that parents were very eager to enroll their children when their drama camps re-opened this summer.

“We have always been committed to keeping our day camps affordable, but we need to find the resources every year to offset our costs for hiring a professional instructor and to rent the Simcoe Street Theatre,” says Angus. “Our enrollment fees are significantly lower than most in the region, giving access for families who may otherwise not be able to send their kids to camp. We are excited to have this financial support that will help us continue with our youth program next year”.

Optimist Clubs internationally conduct 65,000 community service projects annually. Each club is autonomous, and Optimists have the flexibility to serve the youth of their area in any way they see fit. Founded in 1986, the Collingwood Optimist Club supports local children through various initiatives that create opportunities to enhance quality of life, improve health and wellness and inspire youth.

Theatre Collingwood has worked to enrich the local arts scene since 1984. The registered charitable association collaborates with independent professional artists and regional theatre companies across Ontario. Their management team also contributes to other organizations that champion arts and culture in the region including Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Gaslight Community Theatre, Theatre Georgian Bay, The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay, the Regional Arts Action Network and CACE (Collingwood Arts, Culture & Entertainment), which is advocating for a multi-faceted Centre for Arts to be built in Collingwood.

For more information about Theatre Collingwood’s upcoming events, please call the box office at 705-445-2200 or visit