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To our fellow Illuminators,
When we began working on GhostLight in March, our hope was to create an online gathering place where people could find inspiration, engagement, mentorship, and above all community. We were daunted by the prospect of moving this work we love so much online, but we could sense that there was a demand for it. We agreed early on that the success of this endeavour would be measured by impact. Now, almost 6 months later, it’s clear that, thanks to all of our teachers, special guests, participants and followers, the impact has touched us all.
This Instagram post from one of our students, Julie Tomaino perfectly captures what we were driving for.
We’ve received so many messages that communicate a similar sentiment, for which we are grateful. Together we have cultivated hope in a time of uncertainty.
In those early days when we were launching, it was our hope that our GoFundMe (https://www.ghostlight.ca/support) donation campaign would generate enough revenue to cover our start-up costs, and allow us to properly compensate our brilliant instructors and staff, all of whom have volunteered their time and considerable efforts to this endeavor. At that time it was also our hope that this pandemic might be short-lived allowing us to keep classes free for several months until our industry could return to a state of relative normalcy.
Since initiating our GoFundMe donation campaign back in April, we have raised approximately $6,000, half of which has been contributed to the AFC to aid our fellow arts workers around Canada. We are extremely proud of this achievement and will continue to find ways to provide vital support and lifelines to the members of our performing arts family who need it most.
This has left us with about $3,000 to cover our start-up costs, pay teachers and assistants for their time and talent. Even though our co-founders continue to work for free, we are sending a small stipend out to all of our Spring and Summer teachers, and have managed to cover about half of our start-up costs as we approach our Fall and Winter semesters.
As this pandemic continues to decimate our industry, it is vitally important for us to maintain our mission of keeping classes accessible for all. With this in mind we are currently seeking corporate and private donations to help bolster our finances and keep costs for learning as low as possible. Come October, we will also be introducing a Pay-What-You-Can model in order to help pay our faculty a more appropriate fee.
We want to extend our most heartfelt thanks to you, our fellow Illuminators in the GhostLight community, and especially to all of our donors for your commitment to this endeavour. This experience has truly been a light of hope and community for us in these often dark times.
Yours with gratitude,
Graham, Dylan, E.B, Adrianna, Stephen and the entire GhostLight team