The evolution of Kimberley Summer Theatre

KST becomes Kootenay Performing Arts Company and will produce year round

After a successful season — it’s 14th — Kimberley Summer Theatre is heading off in a new direction, under the guidance of new Executive Director Tony James.

The company is evolving into a year-round venture, and won’t just produce professional plays and musicals, but concerts and dance performances.

A name change has already occurred. Kimberley Summer Theater is now the Kootenay Performing Arts Company, with a box office in the Platzl on Spokane Street.

Its first project will be Classical Enchantment, which will bring Grammy-winning violinist Pablo Diemecke, ballet dancer Sarah Murphy-Dyson and other special guests to a gala at the Kimberley Conference Centre on September 28.

“It’s a rebrand,” James said. “We’ve had conversations over the winter and just threw out the idea of having more than just a summer season. Summer theatre has proven to be successful and the has been embraced by both residents and visitors. The mandate of the company has not changed, we will just present more productions throughout the year.”

James says the vision is first and foremost to honour the legacy of the board who built Summer Theatre over the past 14 years.

“It’s really imperative that the public recognize the contribution that these past board members have given to arts and culture in Kimberley. It’s truly outstanding.

“Now the torch is passing. Many of the board members are retiring and I will be recruiting new board members. The former board members built this company from start to now.

“We are not taking away summer theatre, but we will begin our first season in September and produce a project every six weeks.”

The company will continue to operate out of the Platzl location that served as the Summer Theatre box office this year, a concept that worked exceptionally well, James says, giving the company a visibility it didn’t have before.

Eventually the front half of the space will be for the box office and administration and the back a rehearsal space, green room, costume studio.

Productions will take place at various venues around town, from the smaller, intimate theatre at Centre 64 to the more expansive McKim Theatre to the Conference Centre for gala evenings like the upcoming Classical Enchantment.

“I’m in here for the long run,” James said. “Part of the vision is to contribute to the vitality of Kimberley. Residents should embrace this. It’s a gift to them. We can bring world class artists to this region. There is no reason we shouldn’t enjoy professional, quality productions all year long.

“Classical Enchantment is a major fundraiser for the company— it is the launch of the new company.  I think it shows our versatility to go from the  adult comedy of Self Help, to the family show, the Wizard, to something like this. This show will indicate what kind of quality people can expect from this company.”

Classical Enchantment will include the gala evening and also an opportunity for local violinists and ballet dancers to learn from the best. Pablo Diemeck will offer a masters class in the violin and Sarah Murphy-Dyson will teach a masters ballet class. The event will also include an auction.

James, most recently from the coast, has 30 years in theatre and has the contacts to continue to be able to bring in this type of quality production.

He says there are different markets for different seasons, so with a little community support, Kootenay Performing Arts Company should be able to make it.

“I like this area and the people. They have been incredibly gracious to me. I’ve signed on for a year and we’ll announced our full season next week. The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far. This is our moment. We’re professional, we’re high quality, we’re ready and we’re capable. We have a base we believe will support us.

“We want to reach out to the community, build relationships. We want to hear from people. WE hope they will recognize us as a part of their lives. No matter what time of year there will be something to do. It will help area businesses and restaurants. It’s a win, win, win, win, win situation.

“There’s a revitalization and rejuvenation going on in Kimberley right now. This is the time, this is the moment. We ask the public to seize it with us.”

ames is also planning the next production.

He is now accepting applications from actors for the October presentation of Noel Coward’s Tony Nominated Hit Musical Comedy – “High Spirits”. Interested actors and singers can contact our office at 250-427-4080 for details. Submission deadline is September 13 at 5:00 pm.


Just Posted

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

KSCU Branch Manager Brent Jossy and assistant Manager, Tara Field, meet with David Bellm society President to present cheque. Submitted file
Kootenay Savings supports Indoor Tennis Society

The Kimberley Indoor Tennis Courts Society is grateful to Kootenay Savings Credit… Continue reading

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Most Read