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Picture a performer as she hangs in the air by her foot, which is wrapped skilfully around a silk.

Another woman makes it look easy as she poses upside down on a metal ring suspended in the air. 

Combine that with stilt walkers wearing steampunk-inspired attire, live music; don’t forget the finger-lickin’ good barbecue and you’ve got an evening hundreds of guests won’t soon forget. 

Party On the Patio, the finale in a series of three all-out bashes at the Fort Erie Leisureplex  in Fort Erie, Ont. certainly lived up to this year’s theme, Elevate. 

The evening was held Saturday, Sept. 8 as part of the Embrace Greatness Campaign to raise $2 million for the construction of a new 500-seat state-of-the-art theatre.

The showstopper of the night though came when it was announced the Meridian Credit Union made a $500,000 contribution to arts and culture in the community. In recognition of the large donation, the theatre, which opened last September on the site of Greater Fort Erie Secondary School, has been dubbed the Meridian Centre for the Arts.

Wade Stayzer, Chief Member Experience Officer, expressed just how thrilled and honoured members of the Meridian Credit Union team are to partner on such an important project.

“We have watched how together you have marshalled your collective resources and mobilized to build a community centre for the arts at your new secondary school and we know it was no small feet,” he says. “It’s a true testament to the dedication and commitment of your community leaders, businesses and government who are focused on seeing your community grow and flourish.”

Dave Schaubel, a representative for the District School Board of Niagara and the school, expressed his gratitude to those individuals and groups who helped see the theatre come to fruition.

When the Town and the DBSN first began talks of building a new high school in the community, Schaubel says it was important for two things to happen. The first was to build a school where the “entire community could come together.”

The second, he says, meant an ambitious project to include a theatre with the secondary school capable of supporting students, but also the vibrant arts community in Fort Erie. 

The project has been given tremendous support from the community, and Schaubel is pleased to welcome the Meridian Credit Union to the list of community builders who have helped to make this project a reality. 

“We couldn’t have done it alone,” he says. 

We’re extremely proud to say Employment Professionals Canada is included among the long list of businesses and community partners that have supported the project and our team was on hand to celebrate the evening. 

 


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