On the eve of its twentieth anniversary in 2019, there is much to celebrate over what the Westben Arts Festival Theatre has become. There is also excitement about what lies ahead and a unanimous desire to see Westben continue to thrive well into the future. With that in mind, the Board of Directors recently adopted a Resolution reimagining Westben as a Centre for Connection and Creativity through Music as the next logical step in its evolution.
By reimagining itself as a Centre, Westben plans to increase its impact at bringing people together through music. The Centre will focus on the year-round convergence of people, ideas and activities. It will be a cultural hub where professionals, amateurs and enthusiasts can meet and be nurtured through the joy of music. And it will cultivate the inflow and outflow of the creative musical experience. Key Components of the new strategy include:
· A Fresh Perspective. Instead of a summer festival supported by year-round events, Westben will be a year-round Centre that includes a summer music festival.
· New Partnerships & Programming. While key programs continue (e.g., Concerts at The Barn, large ensembles, educational programs, etc.), year-round activities will be intensified and augmented as we explore and develop exciting new partnerships and opportunities from within our own community, provincially, nationally and internationally. Pilot projects include a series of Residencies, House Concerts, and year round educational programs, but the sky’s the limit!
· Broader Impact. We plan to explore methods to get Westben “out and around” including the development of digital formats for communication and streaming, touring, co-productions, publishing and more. The door is wide open!
Reimagining Westben as a Centre allows us to build on the strengths of the past while opening the door to future possibilities in a whole new way. It is both growth and the next logical step in our evolution.
For all that Westben has become over the past eighteen years, THANK YOU!
For all that it can become in the years to come, HOLD YOUR HAT!