Patron’s Circle Summer Event
August 24, 2010
by Peter Dickinson
On a recent gorgeous mid-August evening, outgoing Board President Lydia Marston-Blauuw and her husband, Christopher Hunt, welcomed guests to their beautiful backyard garden in Dunbar for a late summer gathering of frien
ds and supporters of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. This was a chance for the staff, Board members, volunteers, and ar
tists affiliated with PuSh to say thank you, over wine, savoury
snacks, and convivial conversation to the many wonderful—and wonderfully generous—members of our Patron’s Circle, as well as to introduce potential new donors to the Festival.
It takes many dedicated individuals to put together the bold, visionary, and genre-defying program we have come to expect from the PuSh Festival every year, a mix of the best in the live performing arts that crosses disciplines, borders, and expectations with equal verve, and that has justly earned the Festival a reputation for risk, innovation, and audience engagement that extends locally, nationally, and internationally. All who play a role in advancing PuSh’s mission in these areas deserve kudos, but none more so than those who make up our Patron’s Circle.
Simply put, the Festival would not exist without the support of individual donors who not only show their enthusiasm for what we do by buying tickets to our featured presentations every January and February, but who, even more crucially, make there commitment to PuSh felt through an annual financial pledge that helps sustain
the Festival’s growth. Governments come and go and, as we know all too well here in BC, their support for the arts ebbs and flows. But individual patrons of the a
rts have always existed, and will continue to do so, championing new work, recognizing excellence, and accepting to be challenged in ways that go beyond mere fashion or si
Lydia and Chris lead by example. Both are members of the Curator level of our Patron’s Circle, which, like our other levels, brings with it exclusive benefits (for a full list of these benefits, as well as a description of each Patron’s Circle level, please consult our website). Lydia’s leadership as Board President this past year was also praised by PuSh Executive Director Norman Armour, who in his remarks at the event singled out her extraordinary service and stewardship during a year of transition for the Festival, one that brought with it many exciting opportunities (our first international co-commission, Best Before), and unique challenges (programming around the 2010 Cultural Olympiad).
Norman then introduced our incoming Board President, Max Wyman. Max spoke eloquently of his belief in PuSh’s mission and of how the Festival would continue to grow, thanks both to the artistic vision of Norman and Senior Curator Sherrie Johnson (also in attendance) and to the ongoing support of our Patrons. The formal remarks concluded with Norman offering a sneak peek of some of the exciting shows being planned for the 2011 PuSh Festival, which will coincide with Vancouver’s 125th anniversary. He also invited guests to attend our upcoming PuSh+ event at Vancity Theatre on September 2nd, an exclusive, one-night only presentation of celebrated monologist Mike Daisey’s latest satirical look at corporate America, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.
PuSh Board Member and Fundraising Committee Chair
It is because of the altruistic hearts and minds of our Patrons that the Festival is able to impact the cultural landscape of our city and present contemporary art that is timely, visionary, genre bending, startling and original.