Since taking over the lease of the Bancroft Village Playhouse in April, the Hospice North Hastings team has been busy booking shows, running events, rebuilding the Playhouse website and putting together a long list of much needed repairs for the Bancroft landmark.
With help from an engineer with historic theatre experience who compiled a list of needed repairs to successfully passing a fire inspection, it’s been a chaotic time. And now that there is a prioritized list of repairs in place, the Hospice team will host their first Playhouse Repair Fundraising Event on Saturday night. To help pack the theatre, organizers chose Juno Award winner Jane Bunnett to fill the theatre with her amazing music and to give supporters a great night out.
“We needed to start things rolling so we decided to book someone that we knew would not only draw good numbers but who would give our audience an amazing experience,” said Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough. “Jane Bunnett and Maqueque have strong local ties, they’ve just won another Juno and we just thought it would be a great fit.”
When Bunnett was asked to play she immediately agreed saying that she had always wanted to do a show in the historic theatre.
Advance ticket sales to the event are strong and Brough says this makes looking at the long list of repairs a bit easier as all proceeds from Saturday’s concert will give the Playhouse Repair Fund some needed pad.
“The Playhouse project that Jane is helping us raise funds for is to repair the exterior of the building,” Brough explained. “This includes a rebuild of the second floor balcony which will then be open to Playhouse patrons who want to enjoy the view of our revitalised downtown while enjoying a glass of wine.”
Brough says the fund also needs to cover repairs to the front lower entrance including new seating areas. The attic also needs to be ventilated and then it’s time to repaint the entire building.
As for the painting, Brough is holding the colours as a closely guarded secret although those attending events at the Playhouse might just get a sneak peak before the big reveal.
“This has been lots of work for us but we’re making progress,” Bough said. “We’re taking lots of community bookings and we’ve already run a successful event with TIFF that featured Gordon Pinsent. I think we’re on the right track to keeping this theatre as an integral part of Bancroft’s thriving downtown. Packing the theatre this Saturday night with jazz fans, dancers and patrons of the arts really proves that North Hastings is ready to become a community rich with arts and culture.”
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque play the Village Playhouse on Saturday June 27 at 8pm. Tickets are $35 and available online at boxofficebancroft.com or at Harvest Moon. Doors and the bar open at 7pm and advance tickets are highly recommended.