Director’s Notes: New Beginnings

Director's Notes: New BeginningsPerhaps it’s all the time I spent in school, but June always feels like the end of the year to me.

 This year that’s especially so, as it marks the end of my time at Imperial Theatre.  It’s been an amazing seven years on staff at this beautiful historic entertainment palace, the last four as Executive Director.

 Some of the highlights of those years? Creating a huge community concert to celebrate Imperial’s 100th birthday; hosting the Atlantic Presenters Association Contact East event; presenting stars like Darlene Love, Avner the Eccentric and Sylvia Tyson, and little-known geniuses like DakhaBrakha and Tobias Wegner; hosting two successful Mystery Concerts and, more than anything, working with an incredibly talented and dedicated team.

 There have been some stressful moments too. Like when we discovered as part of a routine survey that bits of brick were literally cracking off the façade, and again when we got the estimate for repairs. Like the power failure during a show with 800 preschoolers in the auditorium. Or the time cast members of a visiting show went for a stroll and happened on a dead body.

 In each and every case, the show (eventually) went on. Imperial’s new Executive Director, Angela Campbell, will do a great job maintaining that fine old tradition.

 For her first year, she will be presenting the program of artists that I have spent the last nine months putting together. As my predecessor explained to me, this means that anything that goes wrong is my fault and all successes are entirely hers. It’s a good system.

 On June 7, the morning after my final launch night, you can go online and see what’s in the Imperial’s 24th season. Subscriptions are on sale starting at the launch and all you have to do to join the ever-growing family of subscribers is buy tickets to any six shows at once. That includes movies and up to two shows from our community partners (Saint John Theatre Company, Symphony New Brunswick and Gala Ballet.) Single tickets go on sale next month.

 What will you find when you look at the website? Bona fide bluegrass and old school operetta; dance from New Brunswick and theatre from the Netherlands; ECMA and Juno award winners; Indigenous artists in dance, song and story; special celebrations for Canada 150; familiar favourites and a brand new Mystery.

This month I’ll be packing my bags and moving to Ontario to start work with Canada’s national arts presenting association, CAPACOA. I’m excited to go, and of course a little sad. Thanks to the audiences, staff, volunteers and supporters who’ve supported me and more importantly the theatre. See you soon.