Great ideas shared at Playhouse Brainstorm session

With the lobby full of great people and exciting ideas, Hospice North Hastings Chair Betty Coutu and Don Davy from St. Paul's United Church sign the Village Playhouse lease on April 8, 2015.

With the lobby full of great people and exciting ideas, Hospice North Hastings Chair Betty Coutu and Don Davy from St. Paul’s United Church sign the Village Playhouse lease on April 8, 2015.

Not even bad weather stopped the 40-plus artists, business owners and community leaders that filled the lobby of the Village Playhouse on April 8. Arriving with ideas and suggestions, attendees were welcomed to the historic theatre and asked to take some time to explore every corner of the building. From the auditorium to the Green Room, people got a chance to discover the whole building.

After some time to network, chairs were pulled up to tables and glasses were raised for the official signing of the lease. Don Davy from St. Paul’s United Church and Hospice Chair Betty Coutu inked the new partnership to a round of enthusiastic applause.

The formal part of the session harvested ideas dealing with potential theatre uses from movies, music and comedy shows to spiritual programming, children’s activities and educational events. Partnerships were the evening’s hot topic and after an hour of energetic visioning, the meeting returned to a time to break out and build those important alliances. The meeting that officially started at 6pm saw the last participants lingering to 9pm.

Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough was thrilled with the meeting results.

“The Playhouse was packed with an amazing group of people that we really want to work with,” Brough said after the meeting. “I can’t wait to see the calendar fill up with programming in the weeks and months ahead. We’re all going to be very busy.”

The Village Playhouse, which is owned by St. Paul’s United Church and the use of which is considered by the church as an outreach program to the community, is now leased and operated by Hospice North Hastings. Funds raised through this partnership will support Playhouse repairs as well as providing an additional revenue stream for Hospice North Hastings. Hospice North Hastings provides programs and services free of charge to residents in North Hastings.

Playhouse ideas can still be shared by calling Hospice North Hastings at 613.332.8014. The Village Playhouse website is being updated at this time and there is an active Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/villageplayhousebancroft, where all up to the minute Playhouse information is posted.

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