The Schmooze

Was a Festival's Funding Cut for Putting On a Terrorist Play?

It would be an understatement to say that Michael Rubenfeld, artistic producer of SummerWorks, was surprised to learn last week that the Federal Government of Canada was pulling its funding from Toronto’s 21-year-old indie theater and arts festival.

It was even more of a shock for him to learn about this only five weeks before opening the largest juried theater festival in the country on August 4. “The Department of Canadian Heritage had funded us for the past five years, had increased its support each year, and had invited us to apply this year for a multi-year grant,” Rubenfeld said.

Many Jewish Canadian theater programs and artists have been involved in the festival over the years, and many got their starts at it. Rubenfeld mentioned artists such as Richard Greenblatt, Hannah Moscovitch, and Diane Flacks (who is slated to participate this year). The 32-year-old Rubenfeld participated in the festival as an artist five times.

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Was a Festival's Funding Cut for Putting On a Terrorist Play?

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