Fans of Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy have banded together and donated a huge sum of money to a cause close to his heart in honour of the actor’s birthday.
The Canadian actor and writer shared on Twitter that an “extremely generous group of people” raised tens of thousands of dollars for the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies on to mark his birthday on Monday (9 August).
Levy looked stunned for words, and thanked his fans for the unexpected, wonderful gesture.
“I felt absolutely compelled to come here and say thank you so much,” Levy said in a video posted on Twitter.
He continued: “Thank you for making my day, thank you for doing such a good thing, thanks to everybody who donated and the wonderful people who organised the fundraiser for my birthday.
“And I don’t tend to celebrate my birthday so thank you all so much. There is good on the internet. Who knew?”
An extremely generous group of people raised over $50,000 dollars for @UANativeStudies on behalf of my birthday today. Couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate. Thank you so much. pic.twitter.com/PION7Zgp91
— dan levy (@danjlevy) August 9, 2021
Dan Levy praised ‘transformational’ university course
The online fundraiser, which has amassed over $53,000 thus far, explained that the Native studies faculty at the University of Alberta is the “only faculty of its kind in North America”.
Back in August 2020, Levy announced on Twitter that he had enrolled in a free online course at the University of Alberta called Indigenous Canada.
He explained that the course explored Indigenous histories and contemporary issues “from an Indigenous perspective”, and he encouraged his followers to sign up as well.
A few months later, Levy posted another video to Twitter, praising the course and encouraging donations to the university faculty. In the post, the actor shared that the “discussions we had were nothing short of transformational”.
He also announced he would match his fans’ donations to the University of Alberta faculty up to $25,000.
On 27 November, Dan Levy came through with his promise after the university faculty revealed that goal had been reached. Levy replied to the university’s post to thank everyone who donated.
— dan levy (@danjlevy) November 27, 2020
Paul Gareau, academic lead for the Indigenous Canada course, told Global News on Tuesday (10 August) that Dan Levy has been a “big draw for interest in the course”.
“When Dan took it, the week he started… we had 50,000 learners who came on board, which is really incredible,” Gareau explained.
He added: “It’s been a really good education for people on the questions of Indigenous experiences in Canada.”
Gareau told Global News that the funds from the Dan Levy birthday crowdfunding campaign will support programmes for students, community research-based initiatives and programming for public engagement. But he said the final decision would ultimately be up to the dean and provost.