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On behalf of Against the Grain Theatre, I wanted to personally thank the extraordinary artists who have propelled this production and won the hearts of Canadians and viewers across the globe. The creative voices, bravery and willingness of these artists to take part in this experiment have ultimately captured the attention of tens of thousands of viewers across Canada, and 43 other countries around the world.

We want to thank the incomparable Toronto Symphony Orchestra for partnering on this project, and providing the most incredible musical foundation for these inspiring voices. Thank you to Johannes Debus for your musical leadership and my co-director on this project, Reneltta Arluk, for your willingness to take this journey with us. 

Thank you to the 210 artists and creators who have made this piece a reality. With 12 soloists, four choirs (UPEI Chamber Singers, Le Choeur Louisbourg, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and Halifax Camerata Singers), the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and ten film teams across Canada, our hearts go out to you. You are the heartbeat of Messiah/Complex.

In the past — and hopefully — in a better future, on closing night, before the curtain comes down one last time, everyone gets the chance to take a final bow. We wanted to find a way to give that experience to these artists by imagining flowers being thrown to their feet on stage, or the roar of applause and the flash of hundreds of iPhones recording the moment. Instead, here is a virtual bow:

Thank you to our donors, supporters, and viewers of Messiah/Complex. You’ve made this the adventure of a lifetime for us. This production was a risk, both artistically and financially. Your generosity has been overwhelming, and it has made this film a success on so many levels. 

We’ve been blown away by your warmth and generosity. 

To our audience – thank you. You were over thirty-five hundred strong on opening night – and over the course of this production’s run you reserved over thirty thousand tickets, which translated into more than one hundred and twenty thousand views of the film. Because of your donations, we’ve recouped the costs of the film and then some, which provides Against the Grain the ability to create more opportunities for artists to share their stories through music.

The generosity of Canadians, and our global viewers, has been inspiring to everyone who took part in this production. Thank you. 

A special thank you to our corporate sponsors, Unilock and Aldershot Construction, for your early belief in the power of this project.

Thank you to the Yukon Arts Centre for your support of AtG and commitment to bringing art to the people of the Yukon, and to The Azrieli Foundation for your steadfast belief in the impact of the arts.

Thank you to Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for your social media support throughout the run. Banff Centre is where Reneltta and I met, and has supported opera and indigenous arts in Canada over the decades. 

We also want to thank all of the arts organizations, media platforms, broadcasters, journalists and writers who took the time to consider this experimental film and help us connect to new audiences.

Thank you to CBC, Globe and Mail, New York Times, the BBC, Toronto Star, Xtra magazine, Opera Wire, Broadview magazine, Opera Canada, and Ludwig van Toronto, and so many amazing journalists who took the time to explore the stories of these artists and this production. Ultimately, your stories, articles, interviews, and reviews helped connect this production with audiences in every province and territory in Canada, and far beyond.

Thank you to Margaret Atwood for your invaluable support in so many ways, including on social media, from day one. It has meant so much that you were in our corner cheering on these artists. 

Finally, thank you to our incredible team here at Against the Grain for an unwavering commitment to our mission, and our Board of Directors for having the courage to say yes to an outrageous idea.

Please stay safe, healthy and happy, and we hope to see you soon.

With gratitude,

Joel Ivany
Artistic Director, Against the Grain Theatre
Co-Director, Messiah/Complex