Schmooze Productions artistic producer Dean Chadwick is the recipient of the City of Nanaimo’s Honour in Culture award for 2019. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Theatre artist Dean Chadwick receives City of Nanaimo Honour in Culture award

Chadwick founded Schmooze Productions 20 years ago

This is the first in a series of articles highlighting this year’s recipients of the City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Awards.

When Dean Chadwick was a child he would get up in front of his grandmother’s fireplace and entertain at family gatherings.

Back then he didn’t do it for the validation – he did it for the smiles. And while he’s since moved on from fireplace hearths to theatre stages, Chadwick still appreciates the impact a performance can have on an audience.

“That’s what I think led me into staying in theatre, because I knew that I could touch people’s hearts or change how they were feeling,” said Chadwick, artistic producer for Nanaimo’s Schmooze Productions theatre company.

Chadwick has been involved with theatre in Nanaimo all his life, and notes that he’s worked with every theatre group in town in some capacity. In 1999 he started Schmooze as an off-shoot off the Arts Alive summer school “out of necessity” to provide senior musical theatre programming for teenagers. That year they staged Jesus Christ Superstar at the Port Theatre and “it just kind of took off from there.”

Chadwick was also involved in the formation of the Harbour City Theatre Alliance Society, a group made up of members of the local theatre community that runs and maintains the Harbour City Theatre.

On April 18 the City of Nanaimo will honour Chadwick for his contribution to culture in his hometown with the 2019 Honour in Culture award. He said he’s “truly excited, grateful and a little bit awestruck,” to receive the award.

“I’m a fourth generation Nanaimoite and Nanaimo’s really important to me. It’s where my roots are, but it’s also where my future is…” he said. “It was really cool to be recognized for the work that we do in the community.”

The award is based on nominations, meaning that friends and supporters put Chadwick’s name forward for the honour. He said he’s seen some of those letters and that the personal connection makes the recognition all the more touching.

“You don’t usually read letters like that or see things or hear things about yourself until you’re dead, that’s when you hear about it. And I’m like, ‘OK, I’m still alive,’ so this is good,” he said.

Looking back over the last 20 years, Chadwick is modest when it comes to acknowledging his accomplishments.

“I’ve created what I wanted and it’s happening live, right now, which is really, really exciting,” he said. “That being said, nothing I’ve ever done has ever been on my own. It’s always been with a team … and we move forward as a team, so I would never even begin to suggest that this is by me alone. Not even close.”

WHAT’S ON … City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Awards ceremony takes place at the Port Theatre on April 18. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7. Tickets are free but must be reserved.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Parties make last push to try to win Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding

Greens, Conservatives, NDP and other parties focus on getting out the vote Oct. 21

One person hurt in crash at busy Nanaimo intersection

Minivan, sport utility vehicle collide at old Island Highway, Bowen Road and Norwell Drive

UPDATE: Man who was missing has been located

Search and rescue teams, RCMP were involved in search in south Nanaimo

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP asking for help from any motorists who might have dashcam footage from Oct. 12

Hundreds of Island leaders expected at next week’s summit in Nanaimo

State of the Island economic summit happens Oct. 23-24 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Frustration and pride in Canada after a year of legal pot

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

West Kelowna business facing charges after six bears killed over littering

A West Kelowna business has been charged for leaving garbage around Lake Okanagan Resort

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Most Read