News / Calgary

Alberta Theatre Projects needs $200,000 to stay open

The Calgary company is reeling from a shortfall in corporate sponsorships

ATP is asking audiences at its current production, Gracie, to lend the theatre a hand by texting FORWARD (all caps) to 45678, to donate $20.

Courtesy David Cooper

ATP is asking audiences at its current production, Gracie, to lend the theatre a hand by texting FORWARD (all caps) to 45678, to donate $20.

Alberta Theatre Projects is in trouble.

The 45-year-old Calgary company, which brought plays like Fortune Falls and Slipper: A Distinctly Calgary Cinderella Story to the stage this year, needs about $200,000 in the next few months to keep operating.

Ashley Meller, communications director, said that corporate sponsorships have fallen about 77 per cent in the last year. Those sponsorships make up about a third of ATP’s funding.

As Metro reported in December, corporate sponsorships throughout the province have fallen, with many arts companies bracing for a funding crisis – although ATP is the first to announce a possible closure.

As oil and gas revenues dip, companies are less inclined to give to the arts. Meanwhile, audience attendance through the province has fallen as well.

The majority of arts companies in Calgary are not-for-profit.

“Basically, we can finish out next season, but it’s really hard to plan for anything beyond our 17 – 18 season at the moment, as we don’t know what our financial situation is going to be,” said Meller.

On Wednesday, the Calgary Foundation gave ATP a one-time grant of $200,000 – which is about half of it’s goal. They’ll need the other half by May.

ATP is appealing to Calgarians to help raise the funds and save the company, through a Propel Us Forward mobile campaign.

By texting FORWARD (all caps) to 45678, anyone can make a $20 through their cell phone provider.

They’re also encouraging patrons at their current production, Gracie, to donate.

Meller said this will help ATP eventually transition to a new business model that will be less reliant on corporate sponsorship.

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