For the first time in a collaborative effort, the Port Theater will host a fundraiser to benefit three of Nanaimo’s leading professional arts companies.

“I think it’s a bit of an unusual project,” said the theater’s executive director, David Warburton. “As far as I know…I don’t think anything like this has been done before.”

Fall Connections will see performances from TheatreOne, the Crimson Coast Dance Society and the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. Warburton said that, thanks to a grant from Canadian Heritage to re-engage the public obtained in August, proceeds from ticket sales for the event will be divided between the three companies.

The evening will begin with a number of TheatreOne written and performed by one of the participants of the company’s last season of the Emerging Voices program.

The Ties That Bind, written and performed by Yvette Menard, is a one-man show that tells the story of choices – when we’re happy with them, when we’re not, and when we make them for others rather than ourselves. .

“[It’s] a truly beautiful, successful, charming and intimate play,” said Jonathan Greenway, Artistic Director of TheatreOne, adding that the company was looking for an opportunity to take one of their Emerging Voices plays to the next level.

Greenway said Menard, a playwright from the Campbell River-Comox area, really takes the time to connect with audiences around the story of Martha, the title character who has gone through life diligently making choices to benefit others and less for herself.

“She’s the one talking though, not just the rationale, but the realities of life…And then she finally takes that big leap to do something for herself,” he said. “It will be interesting to see him on the big stage.”

Next, the Crimson Coast Dance Society will stage the first public performance of A Song of Years, choreographed by the late Tedd Robinson and performed by Genevieve Johnson and Crimson Coast Artistic Director Holly Bright.

“This piece asked us to let go of dance technique and dance as something other than being human and moving in the world. And in this case, to witness what we do,” Bright said.

Johnson and Bright had just completed the choreography with Robinson and were beginning to work on the score with Charles Quevillon, the composer, when they discovered that the choreographer had died.

“[Tedd] was a choreographer and dance artist while also a Buddhist monk. It brought a whole new level of depth and spirituality to his work and a sense of balance. He often incorporates the gesture of balance into his choreography. And that act will bring the dancer right into the present,” she said. “You cannot quote “perform” when trying to balance an egg on a stick or a stick on your head.”

She said part of the nature of Robinson’s work was to weave together his “questions about life” and “real-time tasks” that keep the dancers present while moving through the choreographed path he had. put in place.

“For me, we can think of our lives as a song. And the piece is about the cycle of life – it’s about the fragility of beginnings, as well as endings, and balance. It is about how we wrap and protect ourselves and how we reveal ourselves, all towards the recognition of the cycle of life.

The fundraiser will culminate with a sextet of musicians from the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, led by Interim Artistic Director Calvin Dyck.

Dyck said he promises the program will be entertaining as it includes some favorites such as the well-known folk piece Czárdás by Italian composer Vittorio Monti; Gabriel’s Oboe, the main theme of the 1986 film The mission, by Italian composer Ennio Morricone; the theme of Downton Abbey; a medley of the best hits from the Swedish musical group ABBA; and Libertango by South American composer Astor Piazzolla. The bandleader said he would perform the Hot Canary solo as well, and there “may even be a colored hat in the mix.”

“I played [Hot Canary] before and people asked “how did you get those bird sounds?”

In curating the program, Dyck said he was not just looking for a variety that would appeal to a wide audience, but shorter pieces.

“There’s a real mix of styles and eras represented,” he said. “Different pieces speak to different people – we are all unique.”

As well as providing funds to benefit all three companies, the Port Theater executive director said he hopes the event will also provide an opportunity for members of the public who may only know one company to become also fans and patrons of others.

“I think people would miss something if they didn’t come to see the show,” Warburton said.

More information about Fall Connections, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, can be found online at

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