By Heather Killen
Evergreen Theatre is starting off the New Year with some big hopes to move ahead with some longstanding renovation plans.
David O’Leary, manager, says the little theatre in Margaretsville is riding high these days with a strong reputation for providing quality performances. He showcases some of the best of Canada’s live performers, mostly heard here on CBC radio.
These days the theatre even has some money in the bank. The last two shows -- Royal Wood and Dave Gunning – were both sold-out. At the annual New Year’s day levee O’Leary announced that the eight-member board, along with community volunteers, are putting together plans for some major renovations. They hope to access infrastructure grants that government has earmarked to help non-profit groups update facilities. If successful, these grants could potentially triple the amount of money raised within the community.
“This is a long-term project that will hopefully result in a new addition,” he said. ‘We want to build along one side and provide a new entrance with a large foyer, a box office, public washrooms, a bar space and cafe.”
This addition would also provide a green room for performers, as well as an extended backstage to allow for those waiting in the wings, he added. The board is now putting together plans, including conceptual drawings and cost estimates.
The next step will be to approach the business community, to seek corporate sponsorship for the project. O’Leary says they want to top up the community’s portion of the project before they approach the various levels of government.
Evergreen’s performance season resumes in March and O’Leary says he has about one-third of the acts already booked. Laura Smith, who last opened the season 11 years ago, returns as the first act of 2013. Smith’s 1994 album, B'tween the Earth and My Soul, elicited critical acclaim and enormous airplay.
In 1996, she won two East Coast Music Awards (Female Artist, Album of the Year) and two Juno nominations (for Best New Solo Artist and Best Roots and Traditional Album). In 1997, she won a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program or Series.
Annabelle Chvostek, a Montreal-based singer-songwriter best known for her rich singing voice, compelling lyrics, and genre-spanning musicality has also signed on this season.
Christina Martin, winner of the 2012 Music Nova Scotia Female Artist Recording of the Year for her latest album Sleeping With A Stranger is also set to take the stage next year; as well the popular Halifax-based Celtic duo, Evans and Doherty who also signed on to perform.
For more information on the upcoming season as the schedule is finalized, visit http://evergreentheatre.ca