Stage Door News

Blyth: Donations to the Blyth Festival will be doubled

Friday, November 13, 2020

Fans and supporters of the Blyth Festival can double the power of any new gifts they make to the Festival, thanks to a $100,000 pledge from two generous local families.

Longtime Blyth supporters Dave Southen and Susan Carlyle, along with another anonymous donor, will match any new gifts received before December 31st , to a maximum of $100,000.  This matching-gift program aims to raise $200,000 for the pandemic-shuttered theatre festival.

Says Dave, “The Blyth Festival is important to us, and important to theatre-lovers across Canada. Right now it needs our help, and we hope this gift will inspire others to dig a little deeper to help Blyth weather the rest of this pandemic.”

Blyth Artistic Director Gil Garratt acknowledges the Festival has already received an outpouring of support from patrons and donors – enough to pay the bills and begin planning a small season for summer, 2021. But more funding is needed to ensure stability, particularly to keep the Festival’s renowned New Play Development program running.

Says Garratt, “Blyth’s lifeblood is new plays. It’s vital that we continue to commission new work, and to support the writers, actors, and other artists involved in the work commissioned before COVID hit. Otherwise we may come out of this situation with nothing to put on the stage.”

 Garratt also points out that donors who support this campaign will be sending a message of hope to artists across Canada, many of whom have been devastated by the pandemic.

“Hearing that Blyth plans to continue paying writers, actors and others to keep creating is the best Christmas gift we could ever give our artists,” he says. “I guess it’s no coincidence Dave looks a bit like Jolly ole Saint Nick!”

Matching gift campaigns are an encouraging way to help organizations raise money by matching new or increased annual gifts. Theatre fans who want to take advantage of this opportunity can do so on the Blyth festival website at or they can contact Jen Lamb (  Donations of $20 or more are tax deductible.

Photo: Gil Garratt and Dave Southen. © 2020.