• Mireille Lemelin

Hudson Village Theatre fundraising gala a smash hit


All smiles at the HVT Gala (from right to left) were Kalina Skulska Executive Director of HVT, ardent supporters Myriam O’Brien and Sandra Lawrence, Pam Campbell HVT Advisory Board member, and ever faithful Laurie Tomita.

It was an exhilarating evening and for such a worthy cause! In the perfect setting for fundraising that is the Whitlock Golf and Country Club in Hudson, 200 guests, champagne in hand, were amicably chatting near tables full of treasures offered for a silent auction, before being treated to a scrumptious dinner in the main dining room. But this occasion was quite unique.

If all goes according to plan, the jewel that is the Hudson Village Theatre (HVT) nestled in the heart of town in what was a former train station will undergo major restructuring. Not in the auditorium itself which will remain with its 140 seats but, for a start, by enlarging the cramped little reception area, adding to it a catering kitchen and a bar section, building a lobby, and creating a multifunctional space for smaller-audience performances. In fact, doubling the square footage of the existing structure.

“That can't be made overnight, of course,” said Kalina Skulska, Executive Director of HVT and Chairperson of the Ball. “It might even take three years... and a lot of money. Government grants are essential, but also the input of the community”.

Ergo, such a fundraising event which, as proclaimed in the program, was a celebration of a proud past, and the building of a bright future. Last Saturday evening, October 21, Skulska, while thanking everyone who made it possible, proudly announced that $113,000 was raised for the cause.

When you realize that this stunning adventure started 25 seasons ago under a tent in the parking area of Restaurant Mon Village by the visionary Heather Markgraf, one has to admit that miracles do exist.

And ensuring that Margraf's vision will live on, when contacted in Toronto, HVT's new artistic director, Andrea Romaldi, told YLJ in an exclusive interview, “I am so much looking forward to being part of it. The town, the community, the theatre, first came into my life during a very special time and I feel blessed to now be part of Hudson Village Theatre as its new artistic director.”

Added Romaldi, “I'm also looking forward to working with my colleagues on next season, and sharing it with Hudson's devoted audiences and theatre community, the most wonderfully supportive and welcoming group that I could imagine.”

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