Arts could help fill auditorium

Shaw Auditorium is under-utilized.

To the Editor,

I was very pleased to have been present in the audience for a performance of Good Timber in the Shaw Auditorium last week.

This musical review about logging in B.C. was performed with energy and skill and is a marvellous collaboration between the Other Guys Theatre Company of Victoria, the Royal B.C. Museum, local sponsors and the Port Theatre. It artistically combined music, poetry and original songs with projections of photos and videos of loggers on our coast.

Of equal interest to me was to find the production showing in the Shaw Auditorium. While this is not a perfect performing space – it is not truly wheelchair accessible and there is an annoying barrier across the front of the stage which necessitated roping off the front row of seats – this auditorium would be ideal for choral and chamber music concerts by local and touring artists, and could be easily modified for small productions by theatre companies.

Perhaps the Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission could spearhead the political moves needed to open this space more often for such productions.

The Shaw Auditorium is under-utilized when used only for council meetings once or twice a month throughout the year, and this facility with its 200-tiered seats could provide an interim theatre until the Port Theatre’s plans for a studio theatre are realized in the future.

Les Dickason

Nanaimo