Gabriola Players wins 2019 ARTY Award

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Gabriola Players was honoured to be the recipient of this year’s ARTY Award from the Gabriola Arts Council. The award, bestowed to recognise the contribution of an individual or organisation to the arts on Gabriola, was accepted last night by founding member Jean Wyenberg.

Photo: Bill Pope

We were very touched by the kind words of the two people who nominated us for the award. One person said:

“Since 2004, Gabriola Players has worked hard to present to the community thought-provoking, topical, comical, and historical plays, from The Vagina Monologues to Inherit the Wind, and even Shakespeare. Critical praise has been given for the risks they’ve taken by staging readings of The Laramie Project, a play about tolerance and gender equality, and Forget About Tomorrow, about the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease, written by B.C. writer Jill Daum. Many of the productions have featured Canadian playwrights, and in the last few years, Gabriola writers have been creating entertaining and evocative new plays, including Miranda Holmes’ one act play, An Unhelpful Complication, which was a finalist in Theatre BC’s National Playwriting Competition, and last year’s delightful pantomime Pirates of Nursery Rhyme Island by Lesley Hazeldine.

 “Members of the group have contributed their art to painting sets and designing lights and soundscapes, glorious costumes for historical dramas and western farces, and members continue to strive to improve their efforts by studying with professional actors, directors, and technicians.

“Always cognizant of their role in contributing to the community, the group has created the Don Whitton Memorial Bursary which has been awarded several times to a Gabriola student pursuing a career in the performing arts, and the group has mandated that 50 percent of the proceeds from The Summer Shakespeare Project be donated to People for a Healthy Community. Recently general auditions were held and more than 25 people turned out, including many people who are new to Gabriola and eager to join in the creativity. Gabriola Players has been an integral and important contributor to the vibrancy of life on our island.”

Wow! Thank you very much. The other individual who nominated us said:

“The variety of shows they present is clearly designed to appeal to a wide audience, from hard-hitting, emotional shows like The Laramie Project and The Vagina Monologues; to rollicking entertainment like Living in Paradise and the pantos; to classics from the likes of Norm Foster, Alan Bennett and Will Shakespeare himself.

“Entirely volunteer run by a dedicated group of actors and a hardworking tech and backstage crew, and deeply supported by the community, Gabriola Players deserve the Arty Award in recognition of all they bring to the stage, and everything they offer to Gabriola Island theatre lovers.” 

Since the 2004 production of The Vagina Monologues which launched Gabriola Players, we have striven to both entertain audiences and to make them think. It means a great deal to us to have our efforts recognised by the Arts Council and the community.

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