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The Camp Trillium Childhood Cancer Support Centre’s mission is to reach children with cancer by providing them and their families with fun and enriching recreational opportunities. Camp Trillium achieves this by providing outstanding year-round camp and recreational experiences to promote the healing process in a safe family-inclusive environment.

Camp Trillium has year round programs which also include ‘Day Camp’ and this is what The Bras Family Foundation has directed their grant to for the year, along with the Paloma Foundation and General Motors of Canada. These grants meant that Camp Trillium was able to run their Day Camp program for 4 to 7 year olds in Ontario.

Day Camp is the gateway to camp. It is where children are introduced to Camp Trillium, their staff and volunteers. They learn camp songs and games, join theme days and have an opportunity to participate in an overnight. Day Camp is geared towards paving the way to participation in residential camps. This year the campers swam everyday which is the highlight for any child, played games, had theme days and did arts and crafts; things that children would do if they were able to go to any day camp. There is one exception for Camp Trillium....the watchful gaze of a camp nurse to make sure that every child has a great week.

There were many highlights in this summer’s Day Camp. Pirate Day saw Tyler who is 7 and has retinoblastoma, decorate his eye patch. Samantha who is 4 befriended Imad who is 7 and has cancer, down syndrome and doesn’t speak. She held his hand all of the time and said to her counsellor, “I understand Imad – he’s speaking French to me!”

Special moments make camp memorable for the children and the counsellors. The Bras Family Foundation helped to make this possible.

Maggie Bras

Cottage Dreams is all about celebrating survival! It’s about celebrating surviving cancer. It’s about recovery. It’s about recovery in a wonderful setting with your family. It is about you and me and all those who are affected by cancer. It’s about taking a break from the cancer setting. It’s about taking a break from the routine of illness with your family and heading to the cottage. Not just any cottage. No, it is to a cottage that has been donated for one week through Cottage Dreams to a family of a cancer survivor or survivors! Get a load of this. You are a recovering from the horrors of cancer, and someone out there in cottage land wishes to give you their cottage for one whole week to celebrate a renewal of life with your family! How cool is that. And Cottage Dreams can make this dream come true!

Seana O’Neill made this dream happen. She had a thought and then a dream and then took that dream and made it reality. With her hard work and passion she has now given over 240 families a week to remember at a donor’s cottage.

The Bras Family Foundation has been able to sponsor 10 families this summer with our grant to Cottage Dreams. Because of our donation, 60 people will get away to a cottage and in doing so we are making a difference in their lives. We believe in Cottage Dreams and that is why The Bras Family Foundation has supported Cottage Dreams for two years running.

Please go to this live link to learn more about Seana O’Neill and Cottage Dreamshttp://www.tvcogeco.com/huntsville-gravenhurst/gallerie/tvcogeco-news/255-local-news/14915-cottage-dreams.

Cottage Dreams Cancer Recovery Initiative’s website is: www.cottagedreams.ca, and their phone number is: 705-457.9100 or 416.763.2009.

You too can help support Cottage Dreams and with your help those recovering from cancer will experience a week out of their year that they would otherwise not experience.

Maggie Bras

www.againstthegraintheatre.com

In December of 2010, Toronto’s opera scene received a jolt of energy with the formation of Against the Grain Theatre (AtG), a visionary young start‐up founded by a group of friends who worked in the opera “biz”. Inspired by a goal of reinvigorating the art form by presenting classical repertoire in unconventional spaces and innovative ways, AtG staged its first performance to a sold‐out audience of 50 people, and with that the company was off and running. The Bras Family Foundation supported AtG in that initial performance and has been a continuing support throughout the growth of our company.

Since that first season four years ago, AtG has packed every single one of its productions with standing room‐only crowds, winning a consistent level of critical acclaim that has even surprised its own members. Toronto Life has called us “the city’s most inventive company”, and it was recently announced that in our first year of eligibility for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, our 2013 production of Figaro’s Wedding received seven nominations! The arts community has embraced the AtG gang, and—equally importantly—so has a much wider, more diverse audience of people who may have never considered attending an opera.

We achieve success by doing things differently. We aim to promote opera and classical music to a new generation, presenting modern and accessible productions in collaboration with relevant artists and venues throughout Toronto. We work closely and collaboratively with established experts in the field. Alexander Neef, general director of the Canadian Opera Company, has publicly called us “the future of opera”, and has demonstrated his belief in AtG by partnering with us for our upcoming, groundbreaking production of #UncleJohn in collaboraton with The Banff Centre.

Following our sold‐out smash hit of AtG’s Messiah last December—which was prominently featured in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail—we are presenting our spring production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the end of June. Staged in the Max Tanenbaum Courtyard Gardens at the COC’s headquarters on Front Street East, we believe it will be the month’s hottest ticket on Toronto’s musical scene (with all due modesty!) Our upcoming fifth season will include an awe inspiring concert featuring some of Toronto’s most impressive voices, in addition to a highly anticipated staged production that will be a true AtG original. None of this would have been possible without the support and cheer from The Bras Family Foundation. We thank you for your support and hope that you can play a role in taking us to the next level.

 

Joel Ivany, Stage Director

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