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Save The Irish Association of Manitoba Theatre

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*Trust that EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. If every person who saw this donated just FIVE DOLLARS, we would get there. $5!!

My name is Siobhan Keely and I am on the board of the Irish Association of Manitoba. Our not for profit organization was founded in 1972 and was a home away from home for Irish immigrants arriving in Manitoba. After 52 years, 654 Erin Street continues to be a hub for Irish Culture in Winnipeg.

We, like all non profits, suffered through Covid. Bills mounted and no money was coming in and we are still feeling the effects, desperately trying to catch up. But one area of our association has felt it the worst - the theatre.

The roof over the theatre is leaking - a LOT. We have been quoted $60,000 to properly repair it, money we do not have, and the problem will only worsen as spring comes. We've tried to temporarily patch it to get us through, but the water simply finds a new path and comes back in. Our stage is now ruined as well as the carpet, and both will need replacing. There is the real fear of mold developing inside the walls and under the floors.

The theatre is a gem of a live performance space tucked away beside the bar. Many of us made our debut on this stage with the award winning Tara Players. This theatre group started up The Acting Irish International Theatre Festival in 1994, a festival that ran until 2020. And myself - I wrote my first full length play The Weight of Shame (based on the true story of the Tuam babies) and premiered it to sold out audiences at the club in 2023 under that very temporarily patched up roof.

Our theatre provides much needed revenue for the association - we are currently losing tens of thousands of dollars because of the roof. The organization's Tara Players have not been able to perform all year. We have cancelled our season and turned away three other rental opportunities. Quite plainly, without the theatre, our Irish club will not exist.

And since my return to the board, it is also my goal to have the theatre space become the affordable go-to venue for other community theatre groups in Winnipeg. Most venues are very expensive for amateur companies to rent without the risk of losing money doing what they love to do. I would not have been able to stage my play without this space. The unique scenario is that our theatre is attached to our pub. When groups rent the space for a low fee, we benefit with bar sales - a win/win for all. And because our theatre and pub are one, we foster a true sense of celebratory community pre and post show for writers and actors to enjoy the love and praise of the audience.

Our theatre space truly is a gem and I refuse to let it disappear. Help us bring it back to life and help the Irish association of Manitoba get back to doing what it does best - promoting Irish Culture.

And know that when we have achieved this goal together, we will have also created a wonderful space for ALL community theatre groups in Winnipeg to do what fills their hearts - write, produce and perform without financial stress.

Thank you.

Siobhan Keely and the board of the IAM.
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Donations 

  • Denise Y. Moore
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • Glen Fehrmoore
    • $50 
    • 3 d
  • Sheila Ng
    • $25 
    • 3 d
  • Joan Helms
    • $25 
    • 3 d
  • Anne Pantel
    • $50 
    • 3 d
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Organizer

Siobhan Keely
Organizer
Winnipeg, MB

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