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Our Marquee Story

This is the eleventh year for the Marquee Event. The original idea was to help raise awareness of the work of Women’s Resources, but also to raise money through a signature performance by top-flight Canadian performers. The first Marquee Event in 2011 featured entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Arlene Dickinson. It has brought outstanding Canadian music stars to the stage of what is now the FLATO Academy Theatre including Blue Rodeo, Buffy Sainte Marie, Chantal Kreviazuk and Serena Ryder. Big names for a big event. Tickets for this year’s concert featuring Jann Arden started at $110 and, like most others, sold out quickly.

But when you realize that few of these artists would consider coming to Lindsay for less than $50,000, even for a charity fundraiser, you start to realize that ticket sales are just part of the story. The compassionate Arden would normally charge much more and chose to perform for a lower rate because she cares about our work. To make a profit that will go directly to supporting women escaping abuse, we need help, and lots of it!

Fortunately, in this wonderful community of ours, we have longtime, incredibly generous sponsors who defray the costs of producing such a big show, ensuring that abused women and their children will benefit. Several of these sponsors have been with us for many years. The words don’t exist to thank them properly, so we thought the least we could do is list them here:

  • Home Hardware Group of Stores at the Executive Level ($5,000) since 2018
  • Scotiabank at the Community Leader Level ($3,000), raising approximately $50,000 since 2011
  • Staples and Swain PC at the Community Leader Level ($3,000), in their second year
  • Wards Lawyers at the Community Builder Level ($2,000), contributing to Women’s Resources in many ways with a total of $31,000 since 2011
  • MicroAge Peterborough/Whitby at the Community Builder Level ($2,000), donating since 2012
  • Christine Karpazis, occupational therapist, at the Community Builder Level ($2,000).A donor to this event since 2017 but is also a former Board member and supporter in many other ways
  • The Kent Florist at the Community Builder Level ($2,000), donating to the Marquee Event since 2012 and an organizer of their own fundraisers over the years with proceeds to Women’s Resources
  • Lindsay-Peterborough Movers at the Community Builder Level ($2,000), their second year supporting the Marquee, but also a great supporter in many other ways

We also have five Community Supporter Level sponsors at $1,000, a few of whom have been with us for many years, as have several of the six Special Friends Level ($500) and six Friends Level ($250) sponsors. A number of individuals continue to help in their own way as Take A Seat Sponsors, donating $50 each for a seat sign every year that has either their name or the name of a person they wish to honour. This brings in over $1,000 annually.  We also need to mention our important media sponsors, including BOUNCE Radio 91.9, The Lindsay Advocate, Global-TV Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes This Week, The Kawartha Promoter in Bobcaygeon and Canoe FM in Haliburton, all providing advertising and promotion at no charge for our fundraisers. Talented photographer Kim Magee donates her time and talents, and the caterers—Fresh FueLL this year—give us a fair price on food requested by the entertainers and their troupe.

(Speaking of food, here’s a fun story from the Marquee Event’s past. Performers are notorious for their complicated, highly specific backstage requests known as hospitality riders, particularly specific food items. Comedian Rick Mercer, who headlined the fundraiser in 2012 and 2017, on the other hand, asked for just one thing: a ham sandwich. He told organizers that he figured it was a safe bet, since it’s almost impossible to mess up a ham sandwich.

Whether it’s food, photography, advertising or cash, when you put all that amazing support together, you end up with wonderful results, like the $22,000 Women’s Resources netted from the 2022 Dean Brody concert. Thanks to a hardworking crew of staff and volunteer organizers, and the community’s generosity, the Marquee Event has raised $174,000 over the years. Just think how much this has meant to us, helping to maintain programs and services for the women and children who rely on our care.

If you have tickets for this year’s show, we hope you enjoy every minute. If you’ve attended other years, we hope you had a great time. And above all, thank you for helping us to help women in need.

By Nancy Payne