I’m going to rant a bit now. Fair warning.
I love living in the community I live in. It has such great things about it, especially such great people. It’s fairly good at supporting artists and there is a wonderful group of artists and artisans that live here. They’re very supportive of each other and produce some amazing work. There’s also a thriving musical community here, as well as an excellent theater group. There’s a hockey team and large junior-hockey association. That part is all good.
Here’s the rub, though. This community, for whatever reason, is reluctant to attend things. Now before everyone starts sending me hate-mail, listen for a bit.
Over the last 20 years I have been very involved in both the theater group and the musical community. More recently I’ve become involved in the artist and artisan community. I’ve gone to a lot of events. I’ve organized a lot of events. In general…and yes, I know there are exceptions…..most entertainment events in this town are drastically under-attended. And I’m at a loss to explain why.
We had a summer music festival. It’s gone now, as far as I know. I’ll be stunned if it isn’t. Organizers can only put on events for so long without breaking even before they stop spending their own money on them.
The local theater group is packed with talented actors, directors, costumers, set-builders and writers. The quality of their productions is very high for a community theater and yet they struggle to fill the seats unless they put on musicals involving large casts and tons of kids to ensure a built-in audience of family members.
I was talking to one of the hockey organizers at New Year’s and she said that when they go to other communities there’s at least 1000 people in the seats. They don’t come even close to that many attendees here.
It’s not that there isn’t advance promotion for these events. There is…lots of it. It’s not that the costs are too high…ticket prices remain modest. It’s certainly not that audiences don’t get value for their hard-earned dollars. They get lots of bang for their buck.
One of the groups here that is trying valiantly to keep live entertainment happening is the Sasquatch Arts and Music Society. They have taken on the management of the Snoring Sasquatch and are doing their best to keep the venue alive for our community. They are a volunteer, non-profit society that is over-worked, under-funded, and stretched to their limit, but still they soldier on.
So for those of you who read this and live in our community, consider coming out on January 29 to their Cabaret fund-raiser. It’s $15, a licensed event with a cash bar, and if past shows are any indicator it’s bound to be an evening of fun, high-quality entertainment. There’s even going to be yummy appetizers to munch on.
So be a part of the change. I’m going to keep writing about this periodically in the hopes that each one of us can find our way back to going out to watch quality entertainment that is produced locally. After all, TV is over-rated and we can all stand to go out a bit more. Aren’t our computer-butts big enough as it is? I know mine is.