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The Verge festival hopes to continue last year’s success

Teresa Pettit of the Grande Parlour presents to Cold Lake city council at the June 25 meeting.

The Verge is back for another year.

The Grande Parlour’s second Verge festival takes place Aug. 9-11 with a three station set up using Bean Trees cafe and the back alley behind the building to create a sensory experience.

Grande Parlour executive director Craig Konechny said they’ve decided to market The Verge differently this year to capture the feel of the event.

“A lot of people didn’t realize what to expect I guess when they came in. And I think that back alley was the biggest surprise, how cool it was back there,” said Konechny.

During the breaks in shows, patrons will be encouraged to watch the live acts on the Bean Trees stage or head to the craft beer/wine garden set up in the back alley.

“When you go to downtown Victoria and they have all these back alleys with restaurants, it’s a cool vibe back there and that’s kind of what we’re looking to duplicate back here.

“We’re constantly wanting people to be up on the move and checking things out,” said Konechny.

There will be four theatre productions written by local playwrights as opposed to six last year to allow for more dynamic stories on the stage.

“The overall goal of that space is to create a foundation of artists and potentially writers and directors,” said Konechny.

“It’s pretty incredible because you get all of these people coming out of the woodwork and you just never expect there to be so much talent in the community.”

The three-day festival includes another family day event on Sunday, which features a “Disney meets Star Wars” interactive show, Down the Galatic Rabbit Hole.

“We’re kind of mashing Disney characters with star wars together in a 30-minute production. It’s a really fun story and the crowd has to get involved and sing-along to win the day.”

The Grande Parlour’s theatre improvements, funded by the City of Cold Lake and M.D. of Bonnyville as well as various private businesses, will be finished by the time of the Verge.

It will be a big upgrade in lighting, sound equipment, seating, and visual effects for the theatre.

“Especially the sound and the lighting, and then the new digital equipment that we’re really looking to showcase at the Verge festival – it will definitely amp up our production value for sure.”

The projector will shoot to specific spots on the stage which adds to the potential creativity involved with the shows.

Plus, showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show for Halloween, or the local film Moments in Spacetime, are possible thanks to the equipment upgrades. It also alleviates the cost of renting.

Asking for support

The City of Cold Lake is reviewing a delegation from Teresa Pettit of the Grande Parlour asking for a $7500 sponsorship.

“We gave them money last year and the idea is to ask for the same amount of money,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

“The idea on council is been to try to support the various groups, especially when they’re bringing people from outside the area.”

During their delegation Pettit said they’ll be asking the M.D. of Bonnyville for a similar request.

Tickets are available at grandeparlour.ca.