Performing Arts Centre turns the stage lights on - very small audiences until province eases up on how many people can be in a theatre

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the lock down was put in place Tammy Fox knew she had a problem – she just didn’t know how big a problem it was going to be.

Today – she knows.

Tammy Fay smile

Tammy Fox, Executive Director Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Tammy is the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre.

The two theatres in the building – one, the Main Theatre, holds 720 people; the other, the Community Studio Theatre, holds 165 people – have been empty for months.

The building needed some attention during the lock-down – while minimal, the costs were nevertheless real.

A very interesting production has been announced that will give young people who have a deep interest in theatre a chance to get some solid experience and mentoring.

Rebuilding the audience is going to take time. The immediate future is iffy at best. The province has limited the number of people who can attend events. “I can’t put much more than 50 people in the Main theatre – close to impossible to pull in the revenue needed to support the operations” said Fox.

“COVID social distancing cuts into what we can earn from the bar.”

On the upside, the Performing Arts Centre has a solid core of patrons who have stayed with us.

Our volunteers have been great – we had them in for a run-through on what it means to manage and direct people when they are entering the theatre and explaining the seating arrangements. We held three separate sessions – 90% of the volunteers have returned to usher people.

During the balance of October there will be:

Gord Downie

A fund raising concert that sold out – broadcast as a live stream of the performance featuring Tom Wilson

LEGACY – A Tribute to Gord Downie featuring Tom Wilson is sold out.

The Livestream of the fundraising concert and special evening to celebrate the man, the music and his enduring legacy take place on October 15th and 16th.

BENEATH SPRINGHILL: The Maurice Ruddick Story takes place on October 17th and 18th – at 1:00 pm on both days.
This is the dramatic true tale of seven miners trapped beneath a small mining town and the racial tension that surfaced as a result.

Elise LeGrow

Elise LeGrow; an impressive chanteuse

Elise LeGrow will perform on Sun Oct 25, 2020 at 4pm and at 7pm in the Community Studio.
Her voice and storytelling abilities are second to none. She has performed at the Performing Art Centre before to solid audiences.

Then there is the ALTdot Comedy Lounge on Friday Oct 30, 2020 at 7pm and again at 9pm

Featuring Sean Cullen, Jackie Pirico with host Ali Hassan! For 24 years, The ALTdot Comedy Lounge has been one of Toronto’s premiere comedy shows.

Nancy Brewer BPAC chair

Nancy Brewer, Chair Burlington Performing Arts Centre

The Performing Arts Centre has a new Chair, Nancy Brewer, a Chartered Professional Accountant in Burlington. Nancy is actively involved in community service having served as Chair of Joseph Brant Hospital and the Halton Learning Foundation.
Fox has put the finishing touches on the budget for next year – it is going to be painful.

Much depends on how long the current audience limitations are in place – assuming that we don’t slide back into a second lock down – and the arrival of a vaccine that proves to halt the spread of the virus.

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