The 17th annual ACT Presents Season has been launched offering everything from live theatre, music and dance, holiday and family programming.
The new season, the first to be programmed by artistic and executive director of the ACT, Curtis Pendleton, who began her role leading the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council and The ACT Arts Centre in 2018, will include 50 unique and vibrant performances beginning in September and running until May, 2020.
“The direction of the programming came out of some very robust strategic planning sessions during which we listened carefully to feedback from our patrons and stakeholders,” said Pendleton, adding that there is something for everyone in the programming.
“No one should feel compelled to leave the community to experience high-quality live arts,” she said.
Opening Night takes place on September 21 with three-time JUNO award winners Leahy, one of Canada’s most highly-regarded musical groups. The Leahy performance will be a celebratory evening of Celtic-inspired music with their signature step dancing.
Over the season there will be nine live theatre performances, six Classical Coffee Concerts, six Listening Lounge artists, more matinee events than in previous seasons and a host of Mainstage performances.
An original stage adaptation of Marcus Pfister’s award-winning colourful story, The Rainbow Fish, and its companion tales, Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea and Opposites put on by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, will come life on the main stage Sept. 28, with innovative puppetry, striking scenic effects, and evocative original music that promises to enchant the imagination of the youngest child.
Soulsha, a highly-energetic, funk-inspired musical group, bringing together some of Boston’s top Scottish, West African and funk musicians, that will include traditional Senegalese and Scottish dancing, soaring bagpipe melodies, intricate rhythms, and New Orleans-infused horn lines, will be performing Feb. 21.
The ACT will also offer an expanded suite of four National Theatre Live Encore Broadcasts in conjunction with Cineplex Entertainment.
New this season will be the launch of the Exhibitions on Screen series, screenings that focus on some of the world’s most famous painters and art works, filmed in renowned galleries and museums around the world.
Another season highlight will be the Canadian Musical Icons performance, welcoming multiple Juno award-winner Shari Ulrich and fellow musical superstar Bill Henderson, who will share the stage with all star-band that includes their respective daughters.
The Golden Ears Movie Series will make its debut as a “Summer of Love” series this year, offering an air-conditioned, relaxing space to enjoy the series of love-themed Toronto International Film Festival screenings as the summer heats up.
The season will also feature enhanced holiday presentations, including The ACT’s first professional performance of Ballet Victoria’s The Nutcracker.
Early Music Vancouver will be putting on a professional performance of Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah, performed by the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Vancouver Cantata Singers and four internationally-known vocal soloists, in one of only three performance locations in the Lower Mainland.
“Our audiences deserve to hear the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in this beautiful hall, ” said Pendleton, noting that with sixty-four professional musicians filling the stage, hearing the performance live will be a “sublime” experience.
Title sponsor for the 2019-2020 season is Morningstar Homes, who have committed to a three-year Season Title Sponsorship through the 2021-2022 season.
The ACT Arts Centre is a not-for-profit society serving Maple Ridge since 1971. The ACT Presents Series is supported by The Department of Canadian Heritage, The BC Arts Arts Council, The Province of British Columbia, The City of Maple Ridge, and media sponsor, The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows NEWS.
Subscription packages are on sale now at the box office and by phone, offering flexibility and savings of up to 25 per cent. Single tickets will go on sale July 1 and can be purchased at theactmapleridge.org, at the box office or by calling 604-476-2787.
The Ticket Centre is located at 11944 Haney Place and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.