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Gala and golf event returns to raise funds for community theatre as project moves forward

The Clayton Bellamy Foundation will be throwing another glamorous fundraiser gala and golf event that is sure to impress.

BONNYVILLE – The Clayton Bellamy Foundation will be throwing another glamorous fundraiser gala and golf event that is sure to impress.  

The foundation is hosting a lineup of entertainers who will perform before being auctioned off to play a round of golf the next day. The money raised will go toward the construction of a community theatre currently in the works. 

Lise Fielding, Vice President of the Clayton Bellamy Foundation, says the ‘Hollywood glam’ gala will be held on Aug. 30 at the Bonnyville Centennial Centre, followed by the golf event on Aug. 31, featuring a million-dollar hole-in-one.  

“You could win a vehicle,” reports Fielding. “Ducharme Motors, Bonnyville Chrysler, and Tercier Motors have also sponsored a hole. And 54 North has sponsored a hole with the possibility of winning a side-by-side. Lots of other great prizes.” 

“[For the auction] We have some cool things including a Ferrari package... which we had last year,” continues Fielding. 

People can attend both the gala and golf event or just attend one, however if they want the chance to golf with a celebrity, auctioneer and entertainment personality Danny Hooper will be auctioning off celebrities Trevor Hurst from Econoline Crush, Aaron Pritchett, Michelle Wright, FKB, and Nice Horse, after their performances at the gala. 

“The gala is a dinner, with entertainment, auction, dancing – you name it. All of the bands get together at the end and have a jam. Everybody that went last year loved it... So, if you want a table, best to try and get one as soon as you can cause the boys are anticipating we’re going to sell this out,” says Fielding. 

Foundation founder and local musician Clayton Bellamy explains his inspiration for the foundation.  

“I started out singing at the Lyle Victor Albert Centre when I was like nine years old. I went on to be a part of their homemade jam talent shows and what was called the Bonnyville Grand Ole Opry - and I would sing there all the time. I actually got a bursary from the members of the Bonnyville Grand Ole Opry to go to music college when I was 17. I never forgot that – I carried that in my pocket and 20 years later I performed on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville with my band The Road Hammers, and I always wanted to pay it forward.” 

Community hub 

With the Lyle Victor Albert Centre now demolished, Bellamy wants the new theatre to become a community hub.  

“We of course want to bring in world class talent to the area for people to enjoy, but we also want to be a hub for hosting things like the Ukranian dancers, or dance competitions, because the stage is actually built for dance... We want it to be a place where local community singers and artists can perform, where schools can have their plays... We want it to be the hub for the arts in Lakeland.” 

Fielding says the 340-seat theatre will be self-sustaining, and partnerships are already in place. 

“Once it’s open we’ve got partnerships with the [The Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta] and Karizma entertainment, that are going to bring bands here. So, we’ll be able to have some bigger names, and bring back things like ‘homemade jam’ [jam sessions for locals]... a lot of people loved it, we want to bring that back. We've got the opportunity to do a whole lot of things with this theatre.” 

Bellamy speaks further about programming.  

“We plan on having after-school and summer programs for kids. They have studies that show that kids who are involved in the arts and in music do better in math, they do better in school, and they do better in life. We’ve got a lot of kids now more than ever who need things to do in these small communities to keep them on track.” 

Along with providing bursaries, the foundation has partnered with MacEwan University and Portage College to run programming.  

“They're going to send their faculty to the theatre to teach,” says Bellamy. 

Funds raised so far

Fielding says the foundation has already raised $1.5 million but they need $ 1 million more to finish. Construction of the theatre is already underway, and they are set to finish phase one in September. A goal to finish phase two by January, 2025, has been set. 

“We've been working really, really hard. Last year's gala and golf event raised almost $250,000... It’s going to take the community backing us to take us over the finish line,” says Fielding. 

Table tickets are now on sale, with individual tickets going on sale in July.  

Bellamy is a fervent ambassador of the arts and the vital role art plays in shaping communities. 

“It’s what separates us from the animals - to be able to create art. And I think inherently that's what people do - we build, we create, and that’s what we were put here to do. When you’re [creating], you’re tapping into the best parts of yourself. I think to nurture that is one of the best things we can do as a community.” 

Bellamy adds, “When people come together as a community and they have an experience in a place that there's no phones, computers, or cameras, it’s just you and the moment – and you’re together, whether its music or a beautiful play, or someone reading a poem, it forces you to be present in the moment” 

Bellamy is grateful for the community support received so far and remains passionate about the potential impact of the theatre. 

“We’re doing this for the next generation of artists. There would be no Road Hammers, no Brett Kissel, no Mike Plume, if it weren't for that little hometown theatre that helped to raise up those artists. And you don't need to become the next big thing, music and arts are the gifts that continue to give through your whole life. And if we can nurture that in our kids, that's going to be something for them to pass on to their children.” 


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