What the good hay is “The Centre”? Well, we think that’s a great question which is why we’re here to do some ‘splainin’.
The Centre is a fundraising project conceived and produced by Ford Cassella Productions in an effort to change the face of fundraising!
HOW THE CENTRE CAME ABOUT
So, remember Covid? Oh wait, that’s still hanging around. But remember lock down? Right thaaaaat. Well, lockdown affected a lot of entities a lot of different ways. In the fundraising world, pivoting happened quickly. Hello, online virtual galas!
In our queer world, We’re Funny That Way sold it’s virtual gala as a CBC special which was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards – Best Performing Arts Special (WINNER), Best Writing Variety or Sketch Comedy, Best Performance Ensemble or Sketch Comedy, and Best Host. We were honoured, floored, and over the moon. BUT, while it met our goal to shed light on queer talent, it was not a fundraiser. That part made us sad.
Fearing the unknown for 2022, and worried peeps were growing weary of the online performing arts specials – a light bulb went off. What if we created a special that showed like a sitcom but still highlighted queer performing artists and used it as a virtual “gala” to raise money for our foundation?
And just like that, The Centre was born. You watch it. See great talent. The money you donate goes DIRECTLY into the Foundation bank account. It’s tax deductible. Good gets done with your dough!
OKAY THAT’S THE HOW, NOW WHAT’S THE CENTRE ABOUT?
Hmmm, let’s see, ever wish there was a queer version of a Parks and Rec or Abbot Elementary or The Office? Us too! So we created one in an LGBTQ Centre! And that’s where we find our hero Katie Xiao (Kate Rigg) a one-time activist and pro-bono lawyer who was big on helping the community but short on paying the bills. With that she fell 😉 into being a personal injury lawyer and went from a woman bearing “We’re Here We’re Queer Get Used To It” picket signs to a cross-armed amazon warrior fighting for your right to sue, well anyone, for anything that might have been an accident. Her mug was everywhere! Even on mugs! How great to be so successful. How cool to be a bus stop celebrity. How empty was her life’s cup…
If only Katie’s disappointment in herself wasn’t surpassed by the disappointment rained down on her by her Mom! Her Mom may live back in the house Katie grew up in, but she also lives every minute of every day in Katie’s head. Hey, try to deal with those repetitive tapes Dr. Phil!
Katie knows it’s time for a change. So when her auto-parts-magnet-turned-philanthropist BFF from high school Pedro, offers her the cushy activism job of running the LGBTQ community centre that he funds, Katie jumps at the chance to jump start her mid-life.
Unfortunately, much like her clients, Katie should have looked before she leapt, because she arrives at that cushy gig only to find: Pedro indisposed big time; his younger husband Paul has cut off the funding; and The Centre with a financial runway that’s not even long enough to land a Cessna – leaving it up to Katie to save the day and save the place.
Katie swings for the fences (while simultaneously stress undressing big time) and takes the advice of sweet Mason, the youngest staffer, and opens a performance space in The Centre to bring in audiences and money to keep the joint rolling.
Will Katie Xiao succeed? Or will she be stripped down to pixelated boobies with her mother’s disappointment ringing in her ears? Or both? You’ll have to watch to find out!
We really hope you like it and that we are on to a way to raise money for charity that easily entertains (as in you can watch in your sweats), and shines a light on queer creators and performers. But either way, we are really grateful for your support of the Foundation and queers everywhere.