07/15/2013 10:35 EDT | Updated 07/16/2013 08:46 EDT

Cory Monteith Dead: Project Limelight Was Close To Actor's Heart (VIDEO)

Cory Monteith Talks Project Limelight from Project Limelight Society on Vimeo.

Deceased "Glee" actor Cory Monteith is being mourned by a Vancouver-based theatre program that gives creative opportunities to kids in the city's poorest neighbourhood.

Project Limelight founders Maureen Webb and Donalda Weaver issued a statement Sunday saying they are "deeply saddened" after the actor was found dead in Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel on Saturday.

Monteith, whom Webb encouraged to take acting classes when he was 19 and living in Nanaimo, used his role as an ambassador for Virgin Unite, the non-profit wing of Richard Branson's corporation, to get a $26,550 grant for the project, The Globe and Mail reported.

Monteith had dinner with Webb just days before he was found dead, Global News reported.

"I really think kids need a place to go and feel like they belong," Monteith said in a promotional video for the program.

Project Limelight offers young artists aged eight to 15 years old in the Downtown Eastside a four-month program that sees them take classes in voicework, movement and improvisation before putting on a theatrical production.

The project's most recent production was "There's No Place Like Oz," a Pantomime take on "The Wizard of Oz."

Project Limelight is accepting donations in Monteith's name through its website, Global News reported.


We are deeply saddened by the unexpected death of our good friend, Cory Monteith.

Cory was an amazing young man with a generous heart. He has been a supporter of Project Limelight Society from the very beginning, participating in outreach videos and introducing us to Richard Branson who issued a grant to Project Limelight in May of 2012, through Virgin Unite.

Our heart goes out to his family, fans and close friends. Cory was a friend and will be dearly missed.


Maureen Webb and Donalda Weaver wish to respect the privacy of Cory Monteith's family and are unavailable for further comment at this time.

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