It was a busy year for the folks at the Tidemark Theatre, and 2020 is looking to be even busier, somehow, according to Heidi Cuff, the organization’s marketing and programming coordinator.
“Our community is growing, so the demand for events and programming has risen as well,” Cuff says. “Of course, growth always presents its own set of challenges. We are a nonprofit theatre society, with a small staff and an amazing group of incredibly dedicated volunteers working together to make it all happen, so as we grow, the challenge is to accommodate that growth in a way that is both stable and sustainable to ensure the health of the organization for the future.”
Last year started off hot, Cuff says, as they brought in one particular act the community had been asking to see for some time.
“2019 kicked off with two sold out Mother, Mother concerts – both absolutely incredible shows and a show that the community had been asking us to bring in for a few years,” Cuff says. “It has been really exciting to use the growth of the theatre to take our programming to the next level and be able to bring in established Canadian artists like Matthew Good, Chilliwack, Ria Mae, and Hawksley Workman while also fostering emerging talent like Van Isle favourites, Jesse Roper and Vince Vaccaro.”
Cuff says it has been equally as exciting to be able to “take some more artistic risks and to continue diversifying our programming and event offerings,” such as “expanding our symphony programming and bringing in more theatre.”
“We have some amazing shows contracted for 2020, with many more in the works,” Cuff says. “We are thrilled to be presenting Ballet Jörgen’s Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet in partnership with Grieg Seafood in February. It’s the first time this Canadian classic has been authorized for creation as a ballet and the audience response from the tour so far has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m really excited to see it and also to present a professional ballet on our stage. We also have some great musicians hitting our stage in 2020, beginning with the Original Wailers, Matt Andersen, Sarah Harmer, Dan Mangan, Joel Placket, Colin James and so many more.”
There are also some changes in the works for the facility itself.
“We are currently in the design stage of a fairly large concession and greenroom renovation which we are hoping to get started on in 2020,” Cuff says. “And our lobby can get quite congested, especially if it’s a sold out performance, so we are hoping to streamline the flow and improve efficiences so we can serve everyone faster and better.”
The theatre has also been upgrading its lighting and sound equipment, and that work will continue throughout 2020, as well.
“If we want to continue to bring in higher profile artists and shows, we need to be able to meet the technical requirements for those performances,” Cuff says.
The one thing she knows for sure, is that the community will continue to flood through the doors and fill the seats of the facility in 2020.
“We couldn’t have accomplished anything that we have done this year – or any year – without the incredible support of the community,” Cuff says. “And we know that they will continue to do so as we move forward with the exciting things we’ve got coming up.”