Fund provides $1.25 million for more than 40 events and programs to uplift communityEDMONTON, Alberta, Dec. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of its commitment to provide more than $1.25 million to help uplift Edmontonians and revitalize our community, EPCOR is pleased to announce the sixth and final wave of Heart + Soul Fund recipients, with funded programs as diverse as YESS, Fringe Theatre, and virtual concert offerings from the Edmonton Symphony Society. “We have been truly inspired by all of the interest from Edmonton’s arts, culture and charitable communities, and everyone who is working tirelessly to help the show go on,” said Stuart Lee, President and CEO, EPCOR. “We received more than 150 applications over three months. Through the Heart + Soul Fund, some 44 arts, recreation and charitable initiatives are able to continue offering critical programming and inspiring arts and cultural experiences that bring joy and uplift Edmontonians.”Fringe Theatre is developing new processes and skills to film live theatrical and musical performances, laying the groundwork to test this new style during their winter festival, Chinook Series. “Lakes, Songs and Streams,” a new adaptation of Jacqueline & Hunter Cardinal’s “Lake of Strangers,” will stage a simultaneous live-streamed and in-person experience. The Heart + Soul Fund will help pay artist fees and engage a creative team of designers, technicians, film/AV crew, web developers, plus production and delivery costs.“We will connect Fringe artists to Fringe audiences, within COVID-19 restrictions,” said Adam Mitchell, Executive Director, Fringe Theatre. “We will elevate the livestream experience, while preserving the rawness of live performance that audiences expect from the theatre experience in a way that is intimate and engaging. What we learn from this journey will shape how we will support our artists as we explore alternative artistic processes and find new ways to connect with our beloved audiences.”Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS) provides overnight and day shelter, temporary supportive housing, and supports for young people aged 15–24 to stabilize their housing, improve their wellbeing, build life skills and connect with community. YESS launched its annual holiday giving campaign on Giving Tuesday, in which YESS donors will see their donations matched thanks to the Heart + Soul Fund.“YESS provides essential services for youth experiencing homelessness in Edmonton 24/7 – our doors are never closed,” said Stacey Johnson, Director of Operations and Fund, YESS. “With EPCOR’s community leadership and support for YESS, we can create spaces where youth and all of us can heal together and thrive together.”The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is recording concert programs to share with the public, and to schools (including YONA Sistema participants) to enhance music learning in a classroom setting. Funding will help pay orchestra musicians, concert recording, production costs, marketing and communication, as well as provide an opportunity to raise additional funds. For more information, visit winspearcentre.com.“The ESO and Winspear Centre exist to fulfill the human need to make and share music,” said Annemarie Petrov, President and CEO. “During the pandemic we have made it a priority to ensure that our more than 50 individual artists are employed. Through the generous funding from EPCOR’s Heart + Soul Fund we are able to record several ESO performances. These high-quality video recordings will be enjoyed by the community — incorporated into classroom learning and enjoyed at home with family. Music brings us together; it brings joy, and we need that today more than ever.”Applications for the Heart + Soul Fund are now closed. Edmontonians are encouraged to visit epcor.com/heartandsoulfund to find out about the many great events and programs happening this month and beyond.Additional programs benefiting from the Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR include: Bissell Centre Giving Tuesday Bissell Centre launched a fundraising campaign on Giving Tuesday, with the Heart + Soul Fund matching donations received. Funds raised through the campaign will go toward Feed Our Little Ones — providing healthy nutrition for the kids in their child care. For more information, visit bissellcentre.org.Boyle Street Community Services Holiday Meal Sponsorship Boyle Street is conducting a fundraising campaign for its Holiday Meal program, with EPCOR funds matching donations. For more information, visit boylestreet.org.CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Shop for Mental Wellness in Support of Children’s Mental Health CASA will conduct an online auction to raise funds in place of cancelled in-person events. Funds raised from the auction will support the Art and Music Therapy programs. For more information, visit casaservices.org.Catalyst Theatre The National Transformation Project In a new programming initiative created between theatre companies across Canada, Catalyst will commission five local artists who identify as BIPOC, differently-abled and/or LGBTQ2S+ to create short videos to inspire audiences with imaginative visions of a world transformed for the better. For more information, visit catalysttheatre.ca.La Cité Francophone – Centre Communautaire d’Edmonton Flying Canoe Volant Located in Edmonton's Francophone Quarter, in the heart of Bonnie Doon, La Cité is a cultural and community centre as well as the meeting place for Edmonton's Francophone and Francophile community. The Heart + Soul Fund is supporting the creation of illuminated artworks from local artists plus safety equipment for the 2021 edition of the Flying Canoe Volant. For more information, visit flyingcanoevolant.ca.The Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta (FAVA) Studio 19 FAVA is creating a dedicated studio space to provide the equipment and digital recording expertise for eight other arts organizations as they pivot in-person performances to virtual delivery. Organizations can work with the FAVA film experts to record and broadcast performances. For more information, visit fava.ca.Grindstone Theatre Society The Grindstone Christmas Comedy Special Spectacular Running December 20 to 23, this live Sketch Comedy Special will bring the Christmas spirit to Edmonton audiences online. The show will be an original sketch comedy special, featuring some of Edmonton’s best sketch comedians along with special celebrity appearances. For more information, visit grindstonetheatre.ca.iHuman Youth Society Arts and Cultural Navigators iHuman will reopen its Creativity program, through which young people create art – helping to empower them to make positive changes toward a healthy life. For more information, visit ihuman.org.International Festival of Winter Cinema Society International Festival of Winter Cinema The Society will deliver their free, outdoor, winter film showcase on a giant snow screen at the Silver Skate Festival. Films will feature snow, mountain and winter sports, films from Edmonton and the north, and Indigenous stories. For more information, visit ifwc.ca.The Mustard Seed Foundation Giving Tuesday and Holiday Events The Mustard Seed aims to give hope to people who are struggling with poverty and homelessness. On Giving Tuesday, the Heart + Soul Fund is matching monetary donations to help care for our most vulnerable neighbours this Christmas. Additionally, the Heart + Soul fund is doubling its impact by matching donations for the 12 Days of Giving campaign between December 12-23, for which The Mustard Seed is collecting in-kind donations of items from its urgent needs list. For more information, visit theseed.ca.Quarters Arts Society CO*LAB Launch Quarters Arts Society will launch CO*LAB, the adaptation of Quarters arts nights performances and artist-run exhibitions to a digital format so they can be enjoyed by audience members safely from their homes. For more information, visit quartersarts.org.Silver Skate Festival Society acimow – Silver Skate Festival The Silver Skate Festival is engaging Indigenous Elders to make audio recordings about how Indigenous families lived and survived the seasonal cold in various ways. These stories will be shared during the Silver Skate Festival (scheduled in February 2021) and also on the festival’s web site for future viewing. For more information, visit silverskatefestival.org.YMCA of Northern Alberta Year-end appeal YMCA creates life-enhancing opportunities for the growth and development of all people in spirit, mind and body. The year-end appeal for donations is one of the most important fundraisers for the Y and will help it remain a strong and viable part of the community. With support from the Heart + Soul Fund, donors can maximize their gifts through a matching campaign. For more information, visit northernalberta.ymca.ca/give.Quick Facts: * EPCOR’s investment in COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery totals $2 million in 2020. This includes: • $1.25 million Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR. • $300,000 for United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation. • $82,000 for local Edmonton charities from employee matching campaign. • More than $400,000 in top-up support for EPCOR’s existing Edmonton community partners and recovery efforts in the other jurisdictions EPCOR operates. * The $2 million for pandemic relief and recovery efforts is in addition to the $1 million EPCOR provides annually in community support. * EPCOR received more than 150 applications in three months and ultimately supported 44 arts, recreation and charitable initiatives. For more information contact:Keltie Denton Media Relations 780-721-9001 email@example.comAbout EPCOREPCOR, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The Company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 75 employer.