The Bard to Broadway Theatre Society has announced it will be dissolved. For more than two decades they have produced an array of entertaining shows. (PQB News file photo)

The Bard to Broadway Theatre Society has announced it will be dissolved. For more than two decades they have produced an array of entertaining shows. (PQB News file photo)

Pandemic-related issues mean final curtain drops for Bard to Broadway Theatre Society

Difficulties in securing enough qualified personnel prove too much

The Bard to Broadway Theatre Society has brought down its final curtain after having provided Parksville Qualicum Beach a variety of top-quality shows for more than two decades.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it too difficult for the society to continue.

In a press release, president Maggie Bugg stated the society has endeavoured for a number of years to secure enough qualified personnel but the pandemic has exacerbated the challenging situation.

“This has led the board of directors, after much discussion and soul-searching, and with considerable regret, to the conclusion that B2B can no longer successfully move forward as it has in the past, and thus to the difficult decision to dissolve the society,” said Bugg.

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Town Coun. Teunis Westbroek said Bard to Broadway closing is a big loss for the community.

“Twenty-five years ago I received a phone call from Gary Brown and Jennifer Bate asking for a meeting to talk about an idea for which they needed town approval,” said Westbroek. “Jennifer, Gary and Rafferty Chapman shared their vision of having summer theatre in a tent somewhere uptown in Qualicum Beach. Their enthusiasm was contagious and so passionate that they convinced council and staff to be supportive and invest in this new cultural partnership.”

Through the help of Bill Vander Zalm, on whose property at that time next to the town hall the first big tent was allowed to be set up, and with the financial support through Dave Thompson of BC Hydro, the B2B idea was launched.

Bugg indicated it has been a privilege and a joy to provide live local summer entertainment to the Parksville Qualicum Beach region, along with vibrant educational programs for children and youth.

Since presenting its first season in a tent in the first year of the new millennium, B2B has, over the past two decades, mounted 74 mainstage productions, in three different locations, involving its administrative team, and hundreds of actors, directors, stage managers, designers, technicians, artisans, musicians, assistant stage managers and backstage crew members.

Bugg said that it’s gratifying to note so many of its alumni have gone on to further training or professional careers in the performing arts.

All the achievements of the society, Bugg said could not have been possible without the exceptional, enthusiastic, and longstanding support of so many entities that include the Town of Qualicum Beach, the City of Parksville, ECHO Players, the business community and our loyal sponsors, in particular Qualicum Foods and the Qualicum Beach Inn, other arts and theatre groups, their cadre of volunteers, esteemed audience patrons, and the community at large.

“To all, B2B extends our boundless gratitude for 21 seasons of indelible memories,” said Bugg.

As a not-for-profit society with the BC Registry, Bard to Broadway will follow all the due processes as they exit from the stage.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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