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Garfield Weston Foundation supports free performances at Wales Millennium Centre

By WalesMCentre  |  Posted: February 07, 2014

Dennis O'Neill, Marie Wood and students from WIAV.

Dennis O'Neill, Marie Wood (Director of Development at Wales Millennium Centre) and students from WIAV

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The Garfield Weston Foundation has awarded a grant to Wales Millennium Centre to support the programming, promotion and live streaming of free performances on the Glanfa Stage.

Since Wales Millennium Centre opened in 2004, just under 4000 free performances have been presented on the Glanfa Stage with over a quarter of a million people attending these performances. It provides a platform for artists of different ages and genres - professional, emerging and amateur alike - to showcase their talent. In February of this year the Centre launched the Centre Connected, a new online streaming service enabling free performances from the Glanfa Stage to be seen across the globe. 

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making trust which has been supporting charities across the UK for over 50 years. The foundation's aim is to support organisations that have effective solutions to helping those most in need, and to date, has donated more than £735 million to numerous different charities. The trustees of the foundation remain committed to continuing the Weston family's philanthropic ethos that has made the foundation one of the largest and most respected charitable institutions in the country.

Director of Development at Wales Millennium Centre, Marie Wood said: "We are extremely grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation, which has supported the Centre from its inception, for funding our wonderful programme of free performances for the coming year. By enabling us to stage the largest free programme of its kind in the UK, this support will help us to nurture talented performers and to welcome audiences and visitors to our building. As a charity, support from the private sector is a vital part of the Centre's business model and we are currently seeking business sponsorship and individual donations to continue the programme from autumn 2014 onwards as well as to support the Centre's extensive education and outreach activities"

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, commented, "The Weston family is delighted to continue its support of the Centre by funding the Garfield Weston Free Performance Programme. We support charities of all sizes across Wales and we are keen to encourage more applications from organisations in Wales." 

This week, students from the Wales International Academy of Voice performed on the Glanfa Stage as part of the concert Christmas with Dennis O'Neill and Friends. Dennis O'Neill, Director of Wales International Academy of Voice said: "The Glanfa Stage is a wonderfully unusual and imaginative idea. Not only does its pre-performance events enhance the general atmosphere but, through its lunchtime performances expands the Wales Millennium Centre's role into a vibrant, social venue for the general public, whether they be theatre goers or not. Arguably, the most important function and value of the Glanfa Stage is the opportunity it gives to diverse performers and groups to present themselves in whatever their interest might be - all types of music, amateur, student and professional. Again, a vital cord between the community and the theatre. Long may it thrive!"

Full listing of free performances at Wales Millennium Centre can be found at www.wmc.org.uk or to watch performances live via the Centre Connected at www.wmc.org.uk/makeityours/TheCentreConnected

The Garfield Weston Foundation invites interested charities, particularly those benefitting young people and communities or working in the field of welfare, to visit www.garfieldweston.org  

Date posted: 06 December 2013

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