Centre for the arts to boost rural economy

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‘We are really close and it's really exciting to be a part of the physical aspect of the building'

TATAMAGOUCHE - Construction at the Creamery Square's newest addition is winding down for the fall season. But there is a flurry of activity moving the project forward as committee members spearheading the creation of a centre for the arts launch a local fundraising campaign.

Sara Brinkhurst and Fred Maybee, members of the Creamery Square Arts Society, recently offered a tour of the centre for the arts in Tatamagouche. The exterior of the building is nearly complete and an opening day has been set for July 2014.

"We have a building now that is something tangible," said Sara Brinkhurst, treasurer of the Creamery Square Arts Society.

"We are really close and it's really exciting to be a part of the physical aspect of the building."

The centre is the last phase of a three-phase project that began as a concept in 2000. The first phase was the construction of a farmers' market building, followed by the renovation of the historic creamery building to create a heritage and culture centre in phase two, which was completed in 2009.

There has been extensive landscaping and waterfront development at the site, as well as the creation of a boat-building shop, storage facility and an outdoor stage.

Construction of the 6,200 square-foot centre for the arts began in December 2012 and continued until late summer, with periodic pauses for environmental and archeological studies of the area.

"It's water tight," said Fred Maybee, committee chairman. "That was a goal, to get it to that stage so if we had to suspend work for a time it would be OK."

The construction budget is $1.4 million, supported by corporate sponsors, all three levels of government and local fundraising.

The exterior of the building is nearly complete and complements the architectural style of other buildings at the square.

The foyer of the centre has historic significance as a former ice storage shed used by the former Tatamagouche Creamery.

"This ice house we have marked for some really significant visual arts displays," Maybee said, offering a tour of the building.

He said the facility, as a whole, offers many uses for a variety of events, from stage performances to trade shows, conventions, weddings and other special occasions.

When complete, the 160-seat theater, featuring flexible seating, will create many new opportunities for the community.

"It's tied into the whole economic development of the area," said Brinkhurst. The committee is currently in discussions with industry partners to identify ways the space could fill their needs, along with other local arts and culture groups.

"It is a unique facility (Creamery Square)," said the chairman. "It's unique in that you can buy local produce, go next door, check who your ancestors were and then see your kids on stage."

The Creamery Square Association, including members of the arts society, is embarking on a major local fundraising campaign, which will continue throughout the winter to early spring, and are inviting people to help build a core piece of the community.

"That's what it's all about, building on the community," said Brinkhurst.

People can purchase a seat in the theater for $250. The donation will be acknowledged with an engraved medallion on the back.

There are also other levels of club sponsorship available with donations from $50 to $1,000.

Several fundraising events will also be held during the next few months, such as Amanda Gillis's production of Gary Blackwood's The Goose Girl, Nov. 30, 2 p.m., at the Tatamagouche Fire Hall.


- The Creamery Square Association is launching a seat sale fundraiser in support of the Centre For the Arts, which is now under construction. 200 seats will be sold. A seat purchase offers membership to the Painter's club - the cost is $250. A medallion on the rear of the seat will be engraved with the donor's choice of name. Donors will also be recognized on a list on the centre wall.

Sponsorship clubs are named after construction trades:

Framer's club - $50

Plumber's club - $100

Carpenter's club- $500

Contractor's club - $1,000

*Last year about 40,000 visited Creamery Square.


Organizations: Creamery Square Arts Society, Creamery Square Association, Tatamagouche Fire Hall

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Recent comments

  • Thane Patriquin
    November 01, 2013 - 08:52

    A great project that will be supported in the community. As I have said in the past and recently, I hope that somewhere in this project, the groundwork that was laid by Betty Murray who wrote and produced plays and put on performances at the Rec Centre, will not be forgotten for her contribution to the performing arts.