Expanding the arts in Cold Lake

Craig Konechny treated Cold Lake City Council with an update on the Grande Parlour’s successes and challenges, as well as some of the opportunities for the future. A couple of opportunities included ideas of an art school and a seniors in the arts initiative.

Youth in the arts

The art school would potentially draw people from all over the province, perhaps even further said Konechny, with the goal to be recognized as an accredited arts institution.

Teresa Pettit, creative director at the Grande Parlour explained the possibilities to grow are out there. She referenced Rosebuds School of Arts as a model for the project. The school in the small community of Rosebud, Alberta started with a youth summer camp and grew into an international recognized performing arts school.

“Students aren’t just from Canada, they’re from the US and the UK, as well,” Pettit explained there could be potential to put Cold Lake on the map in the performing arts world. “They’re very well recognized.”

The theatre will host a youth development workshop in January, “Audition for Acceptance Workshop”. More information on the program can be found on their Facebook page, @ColdLakeArtsVenue.

“We’re going to take 10 teens, who auditioned and come up with a theme and script,” the youth will have a very special opportunity to create a production, explained Pettit. Teens will learn everything from set design & construction to costuming, to writing, to performing.

“It’ll end with a four-day production in May,” confirmed Konechny.

Seniors in the arts

Operating under the not-for-profit Cold Lake Entertainment Society, they did receive a letter of support from the City for a seniors in the arts initiative, “Aging Well in the Community”. It is a grant program application through Government of Alberta Seniors and Housing towards their Seniors Performing Arts Engagement Initiative.

“We see a lot of seniors come to our shows and how it’s affected their lives in the positive,” stated Konechny. Should the grant be successful, they will host a Sunday matinee and provide transportation from the seniors’ housing to attend the shows. The theatre seating would be transformed for the events to cater to seniors’ needs; including larger aisles for wheelchairs or scooters and shorter tables for better accessibility.

Debuting soon at the Grande Parlour

Recently announced is Murder of Comedy, a play that will debut in March, 2019. Pettit guarantees you’ll be entertained, “that one’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The original production, written by Pettit, explores the fears of being behind the theatre scenes. “We’re always worried about the sets, or production, what could go wrong. So, we figured, why not write a play about all the things that could go wrong. Just get it all out!”

The next show to hit the stage at the Grande Parlour is “Hijacking the Holidays”. Tickets are available now through their website grandeparlour.ca.

“Our focus next year will be to try to broaden arts & culture in Cold Lake,” Konechny