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Theatre on the Move (Posted On: Monday, January 02, 2012)

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Theatre Collingwood Moves to the Cultural Core.  Think of the Chelsea Market in New York City or the Distillery District in Toronto and you can imagine the vision for an exciting cultural corridor which is evolving in the heart of downtown Collingwood.
 
Theatre Collingwood announces it will be creating a new home base on March 1st at 51 St. Marie Street, at the corner of Simcoe Street. 

Theatre Collingwood’s new Production Centre will become the location where the professional company will construct sets, render scenic art, create costumes and build props.  The Box Office & Administration will join the operations, for the first time ever under the same roof.
 
As well, the new year-round Drama Training program for Teens and for Adults and rehearsals for productions will take centre stage here.  Member events, play readings, and special events are also planned for the future.  Theatre Collingwood’s mainstage summer season performances will continue at the Historic Gayety Theatre.
 
Hella Sandberg is credited for being the catalyst of this new relationship between the Lex’s and the theatre company.  A passionate supporter of Theatre Collingwood since its inception in 1984, Hella has served in various capacities during these 27 years as costume designer, head of wardrobe, volunteer committee member and 24/7 cheerleader.  Acutely aware of Theatre Collingwood’s needs and its nomadic existence over the years, she suggested the initial meeting between Artistic Director Steven Thomas with Rick Lex.  Steven comments, “There was an instant meeting of minds.  We have had a common vision but have been working independently toward the same goal: creating an arts hub in the downtown district in which the theatre company would be the core professional performing arts magnet.”
 
Rick and Anke plan to link the theatre space to the main hall/foyer and feature organic local foods and creative studio spaces.  Rick notes, "the conceptual rendering of the exterior by local artist Jason Alexander suggests a grand entrance and facade which complements the heritage surroundings.  The renovation of the building's facade will take place early this year."  Anke adds, "the concept of adaptive reuse has always been very exciting to us.  We are absolutely thrilled to house the Theatre Collingwood Production Centre in part of the former Newspaper building."
 
The Theatre Collingwood Board of Directors, chaired by Harold Bickerstaff, are equally enthusiastic about the potential.  “This represents an exciting and meaningful partnership between a private developer and a non-profit arts organization.  We believe this synergy of performing and visual arts will also inspire local residents to more actively engage in their culture” says Bickerstaff proudly.
 
The new Theatre Collingwood Production Centre will be located across from the Library, in the building formerly known as the Enterprise Bulletin, originally built in 1985 and known as the historic Press Building.  Coinciding with this move, the Enterprise Bulletin newspaper is moving next door to the 140 year old historic building which has just been newly restored by the Lex’s.
 
Theatre Collingwood’s move to the heart of St. Marie and Simcoe Streets connects a cultural pathway between the new Library, the Tremont’s artist studios, The Bay School of Art, the Enterprise Bulletin newspaper, the Collingwood Museum, and just a short walk away, the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts and the Historic Gayety Theatre.
 
The collective dream of a vibrant cultural arts scene is truly a win-win partnership between Rick & Anke Lex and Theatre Collingwood for the benefit of the entire community.
 
For more information regarding Theatre Collingwood, contact Irene Thomas, (705) 445-2000.

Rick & Anke Lex may be reached at: (705) 446-8087(cell), (705) 445-5764, richard@thetremont.ca / anke @thetremont.ca,   

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