Penticton Women’s Centre raises money with comedy fundraiser

The Penticton and Area Women’s Centre is looking for a few good audience members. Tonight is the start of their annual Mother’s Day theatre fundraiser, which, this year, is a production of Trish Johnson’s comedy, The Art of Self-Defence. PAWC’s executive director, Bernadette Otto, said they hope to fill all the seats in the Cannery Theatre to raise funds to support their work.

The Penticton and Area Women’s Centre is looking for  a few good audience members.

Tonight is the start of their annual Mother’s Day theatre fundraiser, which, this year, is a production of Trish Johnson’s comedy, The Art of Self-Defence. PAWC’s executive director, Bernadette Otto, said they hope to fill all the seats in the Cannery Theatre to raise funds to support their work.

Otto explained that this year’s play, which follows the experience of a group of women from varying backgrounds taking a self-defence class, was chosen because it focuses on women and their relationships.

“Over the years, they come to get know each other, and this is their experience,” she said, explaining that the money assists the centre in providing a range of programs.

“The programs are geared to people with low incomes and disabilities and we assisted with support and advocacy … we are here as a listening ear,” she said, listing the various advocacy services they provide, including legal and disability. “Lots of listening ears.”

The centre, she said, is very dependent on fundraisers like this one in order to keep going.

“We don’t get any major government funding or anything like that. We are extremely dependent on donations,” said Otto. “We usually have sell out crowds, but this year, unfortunately, we didn’t get any funds to help without promotions.”

That means, said Otto, they are trying hard to get people to come out to the shows, which run Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Every year is different, she continued. And while quite often it has been a sellout, this year there are still tickets available.

“It is one of our major fundraisers. It’s one we have had every year,” she said. “We’ve had various plays and we’ve done it every year for a decade, maybe even 15 years now. And we always do it on mother’s day weekend.”

Tickets for the 8 p.m. Show on May 6 and 7 are $20 or $25 for the May 8 matinee at 2 p.m., all in the Cannery Trade Centre Theatre. Sunday’s performance is dedicated to all mothers and the ticket price includes a high tea presented by Opus Restaurant. Doors open at 12:30 on Sunday, 7:30 p.m. for the evening performances on Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are available at the PAWC office on Martin Street or at the Wine Country Visitor Information Centre.