Burton Cummings' Plays The Burton Cummings
Posted on April 9, 2003When they changed the name of the Walker Theatre to the Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts, hopefully everyone realized that the name change wasn’t just paying lip service to the rock legend and Winnipeg native. Because on April 10th, Burton’s going to give a little something back... namely, an intimate performance at the theatre, with all of the proceeds going to help get the 96-year-old building back in business.
As part of the 2002 agreement that saw the theatre renamed, Cummings agreed to provide a number of fundraising performances over the next five years, beginning with the upcoming Up Close and Alone. And if future galas go as well, consider the venture an overwhelming success - the fundraiser had already raised $110,000 several days before the show, surpassing its original goal of raising $100,000.
While tickets for the evening are running at up to $500.00, for Burton’s fans it certainly isn’t too much to see such an intimate evening by the former Guess Who frontman and successful solo artist. It also isn’t too much to give to help see the historic theatre returned to its original glory. The theatre, which is a registered not-for-profit with charitable status, is part of Winnipeg’s heritage. After all, this is the same stage where, in 1912, Nellie McClung debated Premier Rodman Roblin on women’s suffrage.
The people buying tickets include “politicians, community leaders, corporate leaders, and lots and lots of music fans,” explains Tremaine Burrows, Director of Development and Marketing. “The proceeds will fund future restoration work, reduce our deficit and improve the general financial stability of the organization. Burton’s participation has helped us revitalize interest in this national historic site.”
With a number of restoration projects planned, including a renovation of the basement “gentleman’s smoking room” to house the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the money provided by the concerts has never been more appreciated. Of Cumming’s extremely generous donation of his talent and services, Burrows says, “I think it speaks for itself.”