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Arts, Theatre

Barry Cole and His "Intercultural Conversations" - Grant Money for Montreal Theatres!

Posted by Sepideh / June 29, 2009

Cole-Theatre-20090629.jpgTheatre's communicative potential is undisputed. It can mentally loop the audience with the performers they are watching. They gain not only an abstract message but can themselves engage in a range of emotions displayed or elicited by the performance. Such potential for drawing understanding and empathy is what led Barry Cole, President of the Cole Foundation, to pursue his community support initiative in the form of grants to theatre companies who wish to engage in "Intercultural Conversations".

"Intercultural Conversations" is Barry Cole's response to the recent Bouchard-Taylor Commission. The Commission recognised that Montreal has evolved from its binary Franco-Anglo roots into a cosmopolitan city, but that it remains a place where immigrant communities have difficulty integrating. Cole's community initiative is intended to open dialogue and introduce Montrealers to other cultural heritages and social realities.

Using the non-confrontational yet powerful medium of theatre, the "Intercultural Conversations" sets out to reach a wide audience with an aim of improving understanding of those that live around us but not yet with us; where we can get an insight into human situations rarely witnessed in our everyday lives. What drives this initiative is Barry's commitment to better understanding and greater social harmony amongst Montreal's cultural communities.

To encourage such theatre, the Cole Foundation will provide Production Grants, Commissioning Grants and Translation Grants to professional, not-for-profit theatre companies based in Greater Montreal. The initiative is in its second year, having already supported 11 theatre companies engaging with religious as well as ethnic diversity in its first year of operation.

The deadline for applications is October 9th 2009. Theatre companies interested in applying for a grant should contact the Cole Foundation, attention Barry Cole at to receive application materials and further information on the initiative itself.



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