Lighthouse Festival Theatre receives additional support from McKeil Family Foundation

The McKeil Family Foundation has once again stepped forward with a gift of $50,000 in support of Lighthouse Festival Theatre. COVID-19 has had an enormous effect on the arts and for the first time in its 41-year history, the charitable arts organization has sat dark for more than a year.

From actors and directors, to set designers and crew, the ripple effect, loss of employment and economic impact, due to the pandemic, has been significant. The reduced staff at Lighthouse have been working diligently behind the closed doors of the theatre, following the constantly changing health and safety guidelines in preparation for re-opening. The small team have continued adapting their plans in response to local and provincial case numbers, while maintaining the iconic historical theatre building and clocktower so that it is ready to welcome patrons back when it is safe to do so.

The McKeil Family Foundation recognizes the importance that Lighthouse Festival Theatre brings to Port Dover and the multi-layered impact it has on the community. “This past year has been incredibly challenging for so many. Kathy and I hope this gift helps Lighthouse navigate through 2021 and all those that benefit from this theatre. Lighthouse Theatre is both a jewel in the community and a strong economic driver that touches the lives of thousands of people. We feel privileged to be a part of it,” says Blair McKeil.

As Lighthouse prepares multiple scenarios in hopes for a summer offering, they are thrilled and grateful to receive continued support from the McKeil Family Foundation. “When Blair and Kathy called to ask how they could help with our re-opening goals, I was moved beyond words,” says Derek Ritschel, Artistic Director of Lighthouse. “It has been difficult to have our doors closed, and re-opening remains a moving target. To have the McKeil’s show their support and understanding is incredibly encouraging. This gift will help bring live theatre back to Port Dover in 2021.”

The McKeil Family Foundation previously pledged $100,000 for the Light Up The Stage matching campaign which resulted in a total of $214,000 raised for the theatre. Lighthouse looks to share their plans for a summer series of productions in the late spring.

For more information on how you can support Lighthouse Festival Theatre, contact Caitlin O’Neill (