Cambridge Theatre Officially Renamed
Cambridge – As award-winning Drayton Entertainment launches its 2018 Season later this week with the Broadway musical Hairspray, theatregoers will be welcomed with new signage at the renamed Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, formerly Dunfield Theatre Cambridge.
Last July, Artistic Director Alex Mustakas announced that the venue would be renamed in recognition of the sustained support of community philanthropists John & Terry Hamilton.
“Our community has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of visionary donors and their generous approach to philanthropy,” says Mustakas. “The Chaplin Family YMCA in Cambridge, A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA in Kitchener, and the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts are just a few of the notable naming examples that enhance and enrich our community and make the Region of Waterloo a better place to live, work, and play.”
The naming opportunity for the theatre became available when the Dunfield Retirement Residence, a $30 million modern senior retirement living complex located in the Saginaw Parkway and Light Drive neighbourhood, was sold by Shiplake Properties to Revera, thereby ending the Toronto-based company’s operations in Cambridge.
The Hamilton family initially contributed $500,000 in 2013 during the theatre’s inaugural season, in exchange for naming the auditorium. Their cumulative support now totals $1.15 million.
“We are blessed with a cluster of arts and culture that is rapidly evolving and creating a significant impact on the economy and changing our quality of life,” says John Hamilton. “We believe such innovation should be celebrated, which is why we made the decision to increase our support and recognize Drayton Entertainment’s vital contribution to our community.”
With the Hamilton family increasing their support to a new level, Drayton Entertainment was free to pursue a partner for the newly vacant auditorium naming opportunity. Enter Mattamy Homes, North America’s largest privately owned home builder, with 90,000 homeowners in hundreds of communities.
The company has three notable projects underway in the Region of Waterloo, including Wildflowers in Huron Park, Kitchener; Topper Woods in Doon South, Kitchener; and River Mill in Silver Heights, Cambridge.
“Mattamy Homes is committed to building inspired communities, and that includes investing in those elements which enhance our quality of life,” says Brad Carr, President of Mattamy Canada. “The Mattamy Auditorium is a home for shared experiences that will educate, enlighten, and above all, entertain. It’s important for us to support the broader community outside of our immediate neighborhoods.”
These two gifts will enable Drayton Entertainment to fulfill its original fundraising commitment towards the construction and development of the $14 million 500-seat theatre complex in Cambridge.
A registered, not-for-profit charitable arts organization, Drayton Entertainment does not receive funding from any level of government for its yearly operations. Its business model is predicated on self-sufficiency so the organization is not an ongoing financial burden to any of the communities in which it operates. As such, gifts by the Hamilton family and Mattamy not only contribute to Drayton Entertainment’s annual needs but also to its long-term stability and planning for the future.
Since opening in 2013, Cambridge’s cultural facility routinely attracts an annual audience exceeding 100,000 for live theatre programming alongside community events and other artistic exhibitions.
In addition to Hairspray, the 2018 Season in Cambridge also includes The Birds and The Bees (May 23 to June 10), Cruisin’ Classics (July 11 to July 21), Jonas & Barry in the Home (Aug 9 to Aug 26), Man of La Mancha (Oct 10 to Nov 4), and the Canadian premiere of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn (Nov 22 to Dec 30).