Director’s Notes: What Do The Holidays Mean To You?

I typically haven’t felt the need to ask myself that question. I loved the holidays! I loved them for all of the classic reasons; family, holiday traditions, great food, fun get-togethers, the list goes on. This year things are different. This year will be the first holiday season without Mom. We lost her to cancer over the summer. And now I find myself not so keen about all of the fun and excitement.
This is disconcerting because I think of myself as a pretty positive person. I usually can see the glass half-full; make lemonade; look on the bright-side, etc.. This comes from my Mom. She is from that generation that smiled and gritted through and just picked up and kept on going. She always looked for the silver-lining.
So in the interest of a silver-lining search I got thinking about all of the great times I have enjoyed with Mom and, since I work at Imperial, naturally many of them revolve around the Theatre. But it turns out they go back further than my tenure here. Those memories start in the auditorium at Saint John High School even before Imperial was reopened. Mom used to buy a subscription to Theatre New Brunswick and it seemed I was the only of her four children she could talk into attending. I remember thinking it was cool that my mom liked the theatre and it made her seem sort of cosmopolitan. Most affecting for me though were the Symphony New Brunswick shows. I knew, and still know little, about classical music but those SNB shows were the first place that I learned to feel music. My mother gifted that to me.
Even before I started working at Imperial Mom drew the family to Imperial. When asked what she thought of her first ever, live theatre experience (Annie) my now 28-year old niece famously said: “Nanny…I never want it to end”.  And the list of family experiences goes on and on at Imperial: my mom and her best pal basking in the beauty of the Vienna Boys Choir; scoring tickets to the much-loved Tracy Friars annual holiday show; going to a country show because dad loves country even though she was not so keen; taking part in our Imperial Paint & Sip nights. Now, one of those paintings has pride of place and holds great memories.
As Christmas gets closer I will draw on those great memories at the theatre and recall that mom would think I was being ridiculous if I did not take the opportunity to enjoy all the things that we love about the holidays. Things like family, holiday traditions, great food, fun get-togethers, and warm memories of the special people that we’ve lost.
It is made easier to look up and look forward when you work in this wonderful place called Imperial Theatre. If you want to make some family memories, get some inspiration or just a night to have fun with pals, Imperial is here for you.

May you all have the happiest of Holidays!