Effort to bring musical to Charlottetown gets financial boost from council
Scene from 2010 Harbourfront Theatre production of Anne & Gilbert. Photo special to The Guardian by Louise Vessey
The move to bring the popular musical Anne and Gilbert to Charlottetown is getting a boost from city council.
Council gave unanimous support Tuesday night to give the production a $15,000 grant out of its 2013 budget.
The money hinges not only on bringing the theatrical production to the capital but the show completing all of its performances next summer.
Deputy Mayor Stu MacFadyen said it will be money well spent.
"We're helping them get started and when Anne and Gilbert are finished at the end of the season we will look at it and see where we stand then,'' MacFadyen said following council's monthly public meeting.
Producer Campbell Webster of Campbell Webster Entertainment told The Guardian earlier this month that he is close to securing a new venue to bring the musical back to the Island stage. One location under consideration is The Guild in Charlottetown.
Anne and Gilbert debuted at the Victoria Playhouse in 2005 and then had a six-year run at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside before being dropped because of financial considerations.
Webster said, depending on the venues, it costs about $400,000 to put on.
"If you do your ticket sales just right and get some corporate sponsorships, you break even or you make a little bit on it,'' Webster said in the interview. "You can do that with sponsorship and maybe a bit of civic or provincial funding.''
MacFadyen said Tuesday that bringing Anne and Gilbert to Charlottetown just gives people yet another reason to come into the city.
"It brings people to the city and (creates) economic spinoff for our residents.''
Webster said things should be worked out within the next few weeks.