The investment is a sound one and the marrying of tourism and arts — with a sprinkle of culture — will bode well for both visitor and livyer alike.
The federal and provincial governments have joined forces to fund a new theatre for the Gros Morne Theatre Festival in Cow Head.
The theatre festival has been producing quality Newfoundland and Canadian work for years, and has provided visitors to the area with a unique experience ranging from poignant political drama to a foot-stomping Newfoundland time.
The company currently uses the Warehouse Theatre adjacent to the Shallow Bay Motel. The theatre has served Theatre Newfoundland Labrador throughout the years, but growth — both in the challenge of new works and audience size — has prompted graduation to a new facility.
The new theatre will include 178 seats (considerably larger than the Warehouse venue) for audience members, rehearsal space, and as the release from ACOA states, studio performance space, dressing rooms, a full kitchen and bar service area, a set fabrication workshop, a wardrobe workshop, wardrobe storage space, offices, as well as a box office and lobby areas.
Despite having a population of just over 400, Cow Head is a prime location for a theatre. Located in the northern section of the park, Cow Head is just off the beaten path of Route 430, the spine of the Northern Peninsula.
While its national park campground is a beach paradise, there are not many other attractions in Cow Head beyond the festival.
By investing in the theatre company, both levels of government have ensured a future for stories that are being told on that stage as well as bringing people off the main road and into the community.
Sure, the naysayers will say that it’s a lot of money to be spent on a niche product.
But this is not about regular goers of the theatre; it’s just as much as a lifeline for tourism and entertainment that is accessible to most.
The entire Gros Morne area will benefit from this facility. And when it’s built it will be worth your while to take in a show or two — and spend a few extra days exploring everything else the park has to offer.