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$7,000 gift with music in mind

By Marni Walsh


Orangeville Music Theatre (OMT) proudly presented the gift of music to Dufferin Oaks on March 3 with a $7,000 cheque from the proceeds of their calendar and stage production Calendar Girls.

The money will be used to support Music & MemorySM, a music therapy program which helps with memory issues in Dufferin Oak's residents suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia.

Dufferin Oaks become certified as a Music & MemorySM home last year “and was in need of funds to purchase iPods, music, head phones, and appropriate storage facilities to be able to expand the program to all residents of Dufferin Oaks,” says OMT Board Member Bobbi Ferguson.

Rebecca Hall, Photographer and Unit Leader Nurse at Dufferin Oaks Long Term Care Home never hesitated when asked to do the photography for the calendar, saying “My art and profession came together in this calendar and I couldn't be happier with the results.”

Written by Tim Firth, OMT successfully presented Calendar Girls at the Orangeville Opera House in mid-January.

Ferguson says, the project began “with a crazy notion that Orangeville Music Theatre should put on the “crowd pleasing” Calendar Girls “despite the fact that there was no musical version of the play.”

“[Local choral group the Sweet Adelines] jumped at the opportunity to provide the musical aspect of the performances, not only for their love of singing but for the overall experience and revealing a side of the Adelines that most have never seen,” says Ms. Ferguson.

The Sweet Adelines are featured as “Misses October” in the calendar which launched in September of last year and included icons from all over Dufferin County posing for beautiful, tasteful and humorous “nude” photos.

Calendar Girls is a true story of a Women's Institute in the UK which raised £3.5 million featuring poses of women from WWI. The play is usually performed in conjunction with a calendar sold to raise money for a local charity and “Music & MemorySM was the perfect and logical choice” for OMT says Ms. Ferguson.

According to the program, the personalized music playlists help patients with responsive behaviours, sleep and rest as well as providing moments of joy and comfort.

The $7,000 cheque was presented to Dufferin Oaks at OMT's annual Awards Dinner Friday night when the theatrical group celebrated the achievements of their four productions from the past year: Mary Poppins, Shrek Jr, Calendar Girls, and Beauty and the Beast Jr.

“Putting on a play instead of our usual musical had challenges, but we learned a lot and are very pleased with the results of every aspect of the project,” says Ms. Ferguson. “From the sales results of the calendar, to the community involvement, to the audience reaction to the fun cast of Calendar Girls, it was truly rewarding. When you receive compliments from audiences such as ‘the cast genuinely looked like they were best friends,' you know you got it right.”

Watch for details of OMT's June 2017 shows: All Shook Up (featuring Elvis songs) and Disney's Aladdin Jr. at A few calendars remain and can be purchased for $20 in Shelburne at Enchanting Esthetics, Dufferin Oaks or by emailing



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