“Musical theatre is alive and well in the West Island”
– Craig Berger, WISTA co-founder
What once began as a 7-member troupe has expanded to a flourishing family of over 60, and, as remarkably one of the very few community theatre companies remaining in Montreal to produce full-length book musicals, The West Island Theatre Association (WISTA) has become a noble and notable staple on the local theatre scene.
Known for its spirited productions, the non-profit organization was founded back in 2006 with the goal to keep alive the musical theatre passions of an energetic group of singers, dancers, technicians and musicians between the ages of 17 and 29 by providing them with a space to develop their skills. Since then, WISTA has grown to stage 8 book musicals (in addition to providing services including cabaret-style performances, dinner theatre, flash mobs, Princess Parties, community events and workshops), joining the ranks of Montreal’s best and brightest as the three-time nominee of the Montreal English Theatre Awards (METAs) for Outstanding Community Theatre Production.
Ten years in, WISTA will now gather notable members, alumni, artists, dignitaries, fans, and supporters of musical theatre at the grand Olympia Reception Hall on February 4th, 2017 to celebrate this historical milestone of shared achievements and successes.
“It would not have been possible to make it to this milestone without the dedication of each and every volunteer. Musical theatre is alive and well in the West Island and it’s only thanks to the community coming out to fundraising events such as this that we are able to uphold that tradition.” says co-founder Craig Berger. All profits from the gala will go towards the production of WISTA’s future main stage shows, including the big-budgeted Shrek the Musical directed by Philippe Gobeille – slated to open in June of 2017.
Guests of WISTA’s 10th Anniversary Gala will enjoy a decorated and elegant evening of food, cocktails, memorabilia, and catching up with friends old and new. Prepare for a nostalgic trip down memory lane as original cast members from WISTA’s productions of Hairspray, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Legally Blonde, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and more, reunite for a rare and unique set of live performances in “WISTA Through the Years: A Musical Revue”. Relive additional memorable WISTA moments with a special video retrospective and an awards ceremony honoring the organization’s most distinguished contributors of the previous decade.
To top an evening of entertainment, all attendees will be given an opportunity to take the stage and perform the best of Broadway alongside renowned guest pianist and accompanist, Chris Barillaro, for “A Little Open Mic Music”. The accomplished artist’s musical direction credits include Belles Soeurs: The Musical (NAC/Segal Theatre), Last Night at the Gayety (Centaur Theatre), The Last Five Years (Toronto Summer Musical Festival), Forever Plaid (Segal), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Segal), Schwartz’s: The Musical (Centaur), Rooms: A Rock Romance (C.E.T.M.) and Altar Boyz (C.E.T.M.).
5:30 PM Doors open, Purple Carpet Arrival of Guests, Cocktails & hors d’oeuvres, Memorabilia & Interactive Displays
6:15 PM Official Welcome
6:30 PM WISTA Through the Years: A Musical Revue (Part 1)
7:00 PM Buffet Dinner
7:30 PM 10th Anniversary Video Retrospective & Awards Ceremony (to begin during the meal)
8:00 PM Memorabilia & Interactive Displays
8:30 PM WISTA Through the Years: A Musical Revue (Part 2)
9:00 PM Awards Ceremony (continued)
9:30 PM A Little Open Mic Music with Chris Barillaro
(Program subject to change with due notice)
WISTA would be honored by your presence at their 10 Year Fundraiser Gala!
Individual tickets are $60 and include 1 complimentary drink, hors d’oeuvres, and buffet dinner. To reserve your seats for this one-night only “purple carpet” event, visit www.wista.ca/wista-gala or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (Dress: cocktail attire)