In the Fall of 1919, a dream began, a theatre fit for performance and exhibition was opened in downtown Brantford. The Temple Theatre for vaudeville and silent movies, then the Capital Theatre 1929 under the ownership of Famous Player’s Theaters and finally the Sanderson Centre a cultural acquisition by the City of Brantford in 1986, presented different owner’s perspectives and differing forms of entertainment from vaudeville to comedy, music to dance and film to community performances.
This year, as the 100th anniversary is celebrated, the management, under the direction of Theatre Manager, Glenn Brown yesterday excitedly announced the 2019/2020 lineup to reflect on this history.
Former MPP (and enthusiastic theatre advocate over decades) Dave Levac, downtown advocate Councillor Joshua Wall joined Mayor Davis, and Brown in front of the Wall of Fame in the lobby.
Some of the old favourites are returning and a diverse booking of classic acts, retro films, entertainers, comedians and dance groups representing all genres of the entertainment world. It was pointed out that because of the significance of the 1ooth celebration at least two new acts, never before seen in Brantford have chosen the Sanderson as the only venue outside of Canada’s major centres.
Red Green is bringing his North American tour to town, as is Bangorra, an Australian Indigenous Dance Ensemble.
Foundation Chair, Tim Sheldon announced the coffee table special edition book to celebrate the history of the institution and financially support many investments for improving the look of the theatre reflecting the original images. The lobby and outdoor marquee are just two examples of the commitment to change.
Sheldon, as well as bringing his company’s ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ back is thrilled to have Debra Brown return behind the scenes, not just because she is a choreographer for Cirque de Soleil but a local resident and consistent contributor to the arts in Brant.
Several hundred devotees attended the event, catered by Strodes, and organized by a cast of volunteers and staff.
An interesting outcome was the hour-long line up after the launch by patrons wanting to guarantee best seating for the myriad of events announced. That and discounted pricing models added to the enthusiasm.
The entire year schedule is on-line for your enjoyment and planning. It appears to be a successful year in progress and remember to take advantage of special packages for savings and the new offerings of merchandise for sale to support the Sanderson
Break a leg, folks!