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Guard.me founders give $1m to Sheridan

A new fund that will support “internationally themed” musicals at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project and support international students seeking theatre training has been established.

Keith and Sharon Segal. Photo: Sheridan

The fund will support three projects in 2020

The Keith & Sharon Segal Fund for International Musical Development will be created following a donation of $1 million from guard.me International Insurance founders Keith and Sharon Segal.

“Keith and Sharon Segal are outstanding philanthropists who believe in the power of education”

As well as funding the development of international and internationally themed musicals at the CMTP, it will offer international students scholarships to study at Sheridan.

“Keith and Sharon Segal are outstanding philanthropists who believe in the power of education to inspire change,” president and vice-chancellor at Sheridan Janet Morrison said in a statement.

“We are grateful for their support, which will allow us to share stories and voices from around the world that might otherwise not be heard.”

The fund will support projects at the school, beginning with a musical exploring the challenges met by LGBTQ+ refugee claimants in Canada.

“Being involved in international education has shown me that we can learn so much from each other. Musical theatre is a unique way to explore and share those lessons,” Keith Segal added.

“I’m thrilled to support the CMTP’s work to share those stories with audiences, while still remaining true to our commitment to support international students.”

Over the past decade, the guard.me founders have invested in projects that support Sheridan’s international students, including student financial support and dedicated tutoring centres.

Two productions developed this year include Almost a Full Moon, a play inspired by the Christmas album by Canadian singer/songwriter Hawksley Workman, and Living the Dream, a contemporary look at relationships and loneliness told during the commercial breaks of a reality TV dating show viewing party.

Since its launch in 2011, CMTP has developed 26 new musicals and become “the world’s leading musical theatre incubator”, according to Michael Rubinoff, producing artistic director, adding that workshops will be held virtually in 2020.

“Even virtually, we will be fostering a one-of-a-kind creative environment that leads to robust collaborations between writing teams and our students,” Rubinoff said.

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