Miriam Manley inside the new Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.

Miriam Manley keen to bring variety to new theatre

Miriam Manley brings wealth of experience to new position as manager of Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.

Kamloops Symphony Orchestra to be first major performance at performing arts centre on Sept. 27.

She only just got the keys to the building on Monday, but Miriam Manley already has lots of ideas of what to do with the new Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.

“I think it can be a great multi-use venue,” said the new theatre co-ordinator. “I can see the stage being used really well for comedy, I can see it hosting dance. I think it would be great to bring in some professional acts but also have it as a hub for the community as well.”

Manley brings a great deal of experience working in the arts to the position. Prior to moving to Revelstoke, she served worked for the Arts Council of England, where, amongst other tasks, she oversaw the funding for three medium-sized art centres in the East of England that featured mixed programming.

“One of my jobs was to oversee what they were doing because the arts council was their main funder,” she said.

She was also engaged in working on outdoor festivals, performances and talent development in the region, working with emerging artists on grant applications and helping develop festivals in different towns.

Before that she worked at the Banff Centre, where she helped organize a number of events and seminars.

Manley sees a lot of potential for the theatre, both as a venue for community organizations and as a space for touring acts to perform or as a conference venue.

“It’s a great, state-of-the art facility,” she said. “It is on the main highway between Calgary and Vancouver. I think it has the potential to attract performers that way.”

So far the new theatre has been used for several school band performances. The Banff Mountain Film Festival this week will be the first major, non-school event to take place at the theatre (see page 20 for more).

The second big event, and the kick-off for the Revelstoke Arts Council’s 2012-13 concert series, will be a performance by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. They will be bringing their performance of Brilliant Beethoven to the theatre next Thursday, Sept. 27.

Manley has ideas for the theatre, such as a summer arts festival that would focus on performing arts, and bringing in a professional theatre company to work with the community on a completely local production. She also sees its potential as a place to inspire youth.

“There’s some really great dance work out there at the moment, contemporary dance,” she said. “There’s loads of young people who take part in dance workshops in town so I think there’s an opportunity there to bring some exciting stuff here.”

On top of that, the theatre is also open for conferences, speakers and any other uses you can think of. A fee structure has been set, but Manley is encouraging people to get in touch with her about using the venue.

“It’s an amazing space and it’s there for community use and so people shouldn’t be put off by the fee structues and how all that works,” she said. “They should talk to me if they want to use it. I’m open to having conversations with whoever is out there about getting in there and getting the space used as much as possible.”

Manley can be contacted by e-mailing revelstoketheatre@gmail.com.

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