Council has endorsed a five-year partnership agreement with Lighthouse Festival Theatre to operate the Roselawn Centre theatre. The partnership will begin April 18, 2020.
Lighthouse Festival Theatre currently operates at the Roselawn Centre during the summer months as Showboat Festival Theatre, and will be expanding their programming and ticketing year-round to include all other shows and programming at the theatre.
“We are thrilled at this opportunity to continue to build upon the success of our own summer productions, while also increasing programming and use of the building year-round,” said Derek Ritschel, Artistic Director of Lighthouse Festival Theatre. “Together, we can transform this underutilized building into a thriving arts and cultural facility for the region.”
Pictured (left to right) Adrian Shepherd-Gawinski, Daniela Vlaskalic, Bruce Davies, and James Hawksley in a scene from Hurry Hard by Kristen Da Silva, which was commissioned by Lighthouse, made its world premiere in Port Dover and Port Colborne last summer, and was voted the best new comedy in the country by the Playwrights Guild of Canada.
“The goal of this partnership is to make an underutilized cultural gem in our community a widely accessible cultural hub,” said Nicole Halasz, manager of parks and recreation. “Recommendations from both the Arts and Culture Master Plan and Parks and Recreation Master Plan speak to increasing the Roselawn Centre’s profile in our community and recognizes as a welcoming public space”.
In December 2019, Council also endorsed a ten-year Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The Master Plan speaks to the importance of fostering collaborative partnerships. Through partnership support, the Roselawn Centre can serve as a cultural hub for the community and instructional space for public, not for profit and private schools in various markets within the community. This aligns with the recommendations in the City’s Arts and Culture Plan. The partnership with Showboat will ensure that more theatre programming is provided to the community of Port Colborne for years to come.
The City will remain business as usual outside of the theatre for the Roselawn Centre with respect to the house and facility rentals. The Friends of the Roselawn Centre will also remain as an active community group focused on improving the historic Roselawn Centre.
In addition to this partnership with Lighthouse Festival Theatre, the City has also launched an Innovation, Creativity, and Culinary Incubator/Co-Working Hub pilot project. This goal of this initiative is to spark entrepreneurship and innovation, and position Port Colborne as a thriving, vibrant place for creativity and innovation. This pilot project and the partnerships developed are also working towards ensuring the optimal utilization of Roselawn Centre.