$38,000 donation will fund additional theatre activities
By Colten Kamlade, Staff Reporter
The Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society presented Douglas College with two awards after the final curtain of The Diviners—the latest production put on by the departments of theatre and stagecraft and event technology.
The Award of Distinction came along with $38,000 in funds for future programs. In a press release this week, Leanne Poon, executive director of the Douglas College Foundation, expressed gratitude to the Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society.
“Thanks to the Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society and the Burr 100 Committee, this award will support performing arts, stagecraft, and event technology students for generations to come,” she said in the press release.
During the evening, one individual in particular was honoured. Nelson Ellis was presented with the 2017 Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society 2nd Year Entrance Award of Distinction. Ellis played the role of C.C. Showers in The Diviners, a play set in a small Indiana town during The Great Depression. The story follows the friendship of Showers, an ex-preacher, and Buddy, an intellectually disabled teenager who has the ability to divine water. The play was written by Jim Leonard Jr. and was produced in 1980.
The Douglas College website described Ellis as possessing some of Raymond Burr’s most impressive qualities.
“[Ellis] demonstrated outstanding achievement in his studies, course work, and performance, and emulates the passion, commitment, and talent of Raymond Burr,” states the website.The awards were presented by Edward Eddy, Michelle Sereda, and Maureen Albanese—members of the Burr 100 Committee—during an evening hosted by the Douglas College Foundation and Alumni Association. The evening was sponsored by Canadian Western Savings.
The Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society is named after the New Westminster-born actor, famous for his roles in television series such as Perry Mason and Ironside, and for his parts in radio shows like Fort Laramie, where he played the part of Captain Lee Quince.
According to an article by ABC News, Burr was also famous for his kindness.
“[He] contributed generously to charitable causes” and “sponsored foster children from Korea and Italy,” ABC News reported.
According to the Douglas College website, the student cast of The Diviners includes Nelson Ellis (New Westminster), Marina Cindrich (Vancouver), Dayna Hoffmann (Surrey), Emma Davis (Delta), Kobe Doi (Surrey), Dani Break (Surrey), Dahlia Kerr (Victoria/Chilliwack), Alex van Geyn (Coquitlam), Emily Thorne (Delta), and Christian Krushel (Coquitlam).