Our outreach programming reflects our mission to share our distinctive and compelling repertoire as widely as possible in the community. We believe we have a role to play in building strong communities, by helping to integrate the very poor and the marginalized back into society.
The most visible of our outreach programmes is Talisker in the Community. This project was launched in the 2003/04 season with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and continues with funding from the Great-West Life Assurance Company, Alterna Savings, and other corporate and private donors. It is focussed in the neighbourhood of Regent Park, and takes each of our concerts directly out into homeless shelters and drop-in centres in the community, for audiences that are overlooked by most performing arts organizations.
December 20, 2010
Dear Talisker Players,
The words "Thank You" hardly seem to do justice in our wanting to express our gratitude for your willing service to enrich the lives of our clients here at The Maxwell Meighen Centre through your presentation of music. So many were touched by your performance on November 1, and your Christmas music in the Atrium last Thursday was a particularly joyous occasion.
Since your first visit in 2006, we have been pleased to see the expression of delight on the faces of so many whose lives rarely experience such uplifting moments.
How wonderful it would be to see more groups such as The Talisker Players be able to continue such ministry to the less fortunate and disenfranchised.
Thank you for service freely given. It is greatly appreciated!
Merry Christmas, and blessings to you all in the New Year.
Major Wavey Birt, Chaplain The Salvation Army Maxwell Meighen Centre
Many of the concerts take place at All Saints Anglican Church in Regent Park (Dundas and Sherbourne), one of Toronto’s oldest and loveliest churches, for clients of the All Saints drop-in centre. Other frequent venues are the Fred Victor Centre, the Maxwell Meighen Centre (Salvation Army), the Adelaide Resource Centre for Women, 416 Dundas (Friends of Shopping Bag Ladies) , and the weekday drop-in centre at Metropolitan United Church.
Our second outreach initiative, the Free-Ticket Programme, complements Talisker in the Community, by offering under-privileged members of Toronto's communities access to participation in the full concert experience. This project works with partner organizations of Talisker in the Community and other inner-city organizations, offering free tickets to our main series concerts. Staff at these organizations report that the programme offers their clients an opportunity to escape their isolation and to be part of a wider community, an experience which can be an important component of reintegration to mainstream society.
February 1, 2012
To the Talisker Players:
I am writing to thank all of you for the concerts you perform in our drop-in. I have been working at All Saints Anglican Church for just over five years, most of the time in the weekday drop-in. The guests there are a varied lot. They come from the street, the supportive housing in the area, and almost every part of the country, including Inuvik. And each person has a unique story, one that is often surprising. What constantly impresses me about the Talisker Players is your respect for this diversity and richness.
The drop-in guests and All Saints staff look forward to your concerts. Your performance last week, as always, lifted everyone’s spirits. The guests listened intently, and when the sound carried outside the building, people were drawn in. There were lively discussions afterwards. As you know, a few of us have followed up by attending the performance again at Trinity St. Paul’s, thanks to your generosity in providing free tickets.
Your presence brings out another dimension of our life at All Saints, enabling us to share with each other our love of music and the way it can illuminate life. It also reminds us of the beautiful building we work in and its fine acoustic.
Thank you so much for sharing so much beauty with us over the years, and enriching our common life.
The Rev. Canon Kate Merriman, Pastoral Staff
All Saints’ Church - Community Centre