Theatre seat sale key to piano campaign

Sponsorships will help bring a grand concert piano to the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High

Joseph Blake takes a seat in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High. Blake leads a volunteer-driven community fundraising campaign to buy a concert piano for the theatre.




Help bring the sweet sound of a concert grand piano to the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High by having your name memorialized on one of the seats.

The Greater Victoria School District is allowing the volunteer group fundraising for a grand piano for the new theatre to accept up to 100 theatre seat sponsorships.

“We want a piano equal to the room, for the community and for the students,” says volunteer promoter Joseph Blake, commending the calibre of the theatre that this year alone welcomed a host of top musicians across the genres.

Theatre seats are available first-come, first-served, and seat sponsorships will receive a charitable tax receipt. Donors may elect a single-seat sponsorship payment of $450 or six equal monthly payments of $75.

Donor-recognition plaques will be attached to all sponsored theatre seats.

Blake’s wife has already purchased him a seat, and he’s planning a reciprocal gift. “Music gives me so much; this is a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to a music community I love,” he says.

Beyond the seat sale, Blake and the other  volunteers are planning concert furndraiser Sept. 11.

“We’ve been planning our big, benefit concert to launch the Keys to Our Success campaign,” says Blake, who has lined up seven local pianists to perform on a nine-foot Steinway concert grand piano loaned by Tom Lee Music for the event.

Pianorama features Louise Rose, Toni Blodgett, Arthur Rowe, Karel Roessingh, Julia Zhu, Brent Jarvis and Jan Stirling, all donating their time and talent. Each will showcase a different genre of music they’re passionate about, from ragtime and gospel to jazz and classical.

“Pianorama is the real launch and it’s going to be a truly amazing event,” Blake says, thanking the participating performers. They’re giving, amazing people – every person I asked said ‘yes.’”

Theatre namesake Dave Dunnet will also speak at the event about the importance of the planned-for piano, Blake says.

“We are really thrilled to present this celebration of piano and community and the opportunity to accept theatre seat sponsorships in the beautiful, new theatre is a huge aid to our effort to raise $100,000 for a piano that is equal to the $4-million theatre complex,” Blake says.

“It’s an important new venue for the whole community, and it deserves a world-class piano.”

Pianorama takes place at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High  on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. Advance tickets are for sale at Oak Bay Rec Centre and ScotiaBank Oak Bay.

Individuals, groups, organizations and corporations may support Keys to Our Success and Oak Bay Piano Fund by donating online at CanadaHelps.org or by delivering payment (cash or cheque) to Oak Bay Rotary Foundation at #210-2187 Oak Bay Ave.

For details call 250-595-1500.