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Posted: September 11, 2015

Something for everyone at Key City Theatre

By Brenda Ann Babinski

The sky’s the limit at the Key City Theatre when it launches its 2015-2016 season this month, unveiling an exciting line up of acts and artists along with a whole new look for itself.

Renovations throughout the summer months have brought an updated, fresh look and broader functionality to the theatre. There is fresh paint in neutral colours, creating the perfect backdrop for the colourful artists and entertainers in the season’s line up.

BB KCT dark stageGalen Olstead, Key City Theatre’s Managing Director is excited about the changes, which include a new cabaret style stage being installed and the concession, which will have a brand new design.

“Gipman Millwork and Design Ltd. is donating the entire restructure of the concession,” said Olstead. “That is a huge gift back to the community.”

The fresh look will only enhance an eclectic and full season.

Sioban Staplin, Marketing Director at the theatre believes the new season will have something for everyone. “Our audience is diverse, therefore our program is very diverse,” she said.

Olstead explains, “We are seeing a shift in demographics, trending a little bit younger, and more families. The program is shifting a little bit to address that.”

Quartetto Gelato 2006With acts ranging from classics such as the Canadian blues and roots favourites Valdy and Ken Hamm, to the classically inspired Canada Ballet Jorgen, to the avant garde Quartetto Gelato, to the lumberjack circus, Timber and everything in between, 2015-16 season will deliver the Key City into its 25th year with aplomb.

According to Olstead there will be a couple of ‘once in a lifetime’ performances as well. “These are acts that won’t be back in the area. They are unique to what we have here. Ethan Russell is a stand out. He is a rock and roll photographer who did the last photos of the Beatles, who was part of the rooftop concert they did. He went on tour with the Rolling Stones in 1969. In 1972 he worked with The Who. Just the number of people he was involved with is astonishing.”

Ethan Russell’s show is October 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Seeds is another unique act coming this season. Featuring Eric Peterson (pictured above) of Corner Gas fame in the role of Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser, the play depicts the four-year legal showdown between Schmeiser and corporate giant Monsanto. Termed ‘A Play for a Thinking Audience,’ Seeds will challenge and inform audiences, while bringing a caliber of performance that is not to be missed. Seeds runs February 2.

RoyalAlexAnother interesting event that is sure to attract attention is the 1864 Heritage Dinner and Piano Concert. Coming December 9 to the Royal Alexandra Hall, the evening will feature a four-course meal highlighting foods from the era, entertainment and history. Pianist Michael Kim will be playing selections on the 1864 Broadwood and Sons grand piano.

With a full and busy season ahead, Olstead is pleased to be partnering with many groups and individuals in the community. “It’s not all us. There are a number of different partnerships formed to get a lot of these events to happen,” he said.

College of the Rockies, the Cranbrook and District Arts Council, Cranbrook History Centre, Kootenay Concert Connections, Fisher Peak Performing Artists, Paul Kershaw Productions and more, the Key City Theatre hopes to build on its role as hub of the arts in the East Kootenay, collaborating and working together with other organizations to expand the audience and bring great entertainment to the area.

JesseCook OneWorldAnd for the up and coming theatre lovers, there will be programs specifically designed for the youth in the community. Theatre workshops will be offered in October and February with local director Beth Turcon. “There is a little bit of something for everyone,” Olstead promises.

The season officially kicks off September 23 with a concert by inspired musician Jesse Cook.

Olstead encourages anyone interested in finding out more information about the upcoming events, membership details or to volunteer to please check out their website or call (250) 426-7006.

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