Donations pour into robbed community arts centre

Within five days of being cleared out of musical instruments and equipment in a break-in, the Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre has drawn donations of more than $25,000 and a room full of instruments.

“Can you believe it?” the centre’s executive director Sarah Patrick said Saturday. “It’s fantastic, I’m still in shock over it. I’m so happy and we’re so grateful.”

After the robbery was discovered on July 22, a GoFundMe page was set up to raise $20,000 under the title “Please Help Us Replace Our Stolen Instruments.”

As of July 27 evening, $25,382 has been raised for the centre, based on Parliament Street in St. Jamestown.

Instruments have also been donated by area residents, nearly filling a room, Patrick said.

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“It makes me feel wonderful that the community would pull together like this,” centre founder David Blackmore said. “They’ve responded so well, I think it’s going to help improve the program even more.”

About 200 children attend the centre weekly for individual music lessons and for theatre and art classes.

The program was put in jeopardy by the robbery that took the centre’s full supply of guitars, violins and flutes, as well as audio equipment.

But the donations of instruments and cash to replace stolen equipment will help ensure the centre can reopen and hold its fall program, including a concert to celebrate the centre’s 40th anniversary, Blackmore said.

Staff have been been in touch with police from the major crimes unit, Patrick said, but so far no information has been released on the investigation.