Stage Door News

Stratford: $5M Lazaridis matching gift puts Stratford’s $100M Tom Patterson Theatre goal in sight

Monday, October 7, 2019

Ophelia Lazaridis has issued a $5-million challenge to take the Spirit of the Tent Campaign for a New Tom Patterson Theatre to 100% of its goal.

Lazaridis was a lead donor with an initial gift of $10 million in January 2018. Now she has come forward to set the campaign on a course for completion by pledging to match every new or second gift up to a total of $5 million.

This challenge will take the campaign to its $100-million goal – or even beyond!

Lazaridis also serves as co-chair of the Spirit of the Tent Campaign with Dr. M. Lee Myers and Honorary Chair the Honourable Michael Meighen.

“Ophelia Lazaridis has played an enormous part in creating the new Tom Patterson Theatre,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino

“From our first discussion about the exciting opportunities for audiences and artists that this bespoke theatre would provide, Ophelia's enthusiasm was inspirational. She gave generously not only through a $10-million leadership gift but also through her good counsel on every aspect of this building project. And then she took our breath away by telling us that she would give a further matching gift of $5 million to take our campaign over the top. That call from Ophelia was deeply moving. It revealed such a profound commitment to the arts in Canada.” 

The magnificent new Tom Patterson Theatre will be unveiled for the 2020 season. Attention has been paid to every aspect of the theatre, from seating and air handling to lighting and sound, and especially to the stage itself – all to optimize the experience for artists and patrons alike.

“When I first heard about the ambitious plans to rebuild the Tom Patterson Theatre after 46 years of extraordinary productions, and heard about the exceptional work that will be presented there, I was very proud to join others in making an early and significant gift to the campaign,” Lazaridis says. “Over the past year and a half, so many have already joined in to support the Spirit of the Tent campaign, both from Canada and the United States.  This generous support has allowed us to reach 90% of our $100 million goal – and together we can complete this historic campaign for the Stratford Festival.”

The new Tom Patterson Theatre is scheduled to open for the 2020 season with a production of Richard IIIdirected by Cimolino and featuring Colm Feore in the title role. The season will feature a number of exciting events designed around the new theatre, including a dedication to Stratford Festival founder Tom Patterson on June 11, the 100th anniversary of his birth.

“We are extremely grateful to Ophelia and Lee for their outstanding leadership as the co-chairs of this campaign,” says Cimolino. “We are in awe of the magnificent success of this campaign and thrilled that our $100-million goal in now in sight.”

Illustration: Artist’s rendering of lobby of new Tom Patterson Theatre.