© Guardian photo
A preview of Canada Rocks was offered at a recent news conference announcing the 2014 lineup of the Charlottetown Festival at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
The show must go on.
Jessie Inman, CEO of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, is not deterred by a sizable cut in anticipated funding to put Canada Rocks! on stage next year.
Initially, $250,000 was requested to help bring the musical that was staged in 2005 and 2006 back for the Charlottetown Festival in 2014.
Another $250,000 was sought for 1864: The Musical, billed as a new, locally written theatrical production telling the story of the historic Charlottetown Conference.
However, the Confederation Centre was only granted $240,000 from the $5 million P.E.I. 2014 Fund established to fund projects during the year-long celebrations in 2014 to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference.
The Confederation Centre decided 1864: The Musical was too large a financial risk to pursue.
“We had absolutely every intention of doing 1864: The Musical ... but when we started taking a look at our numbers, we realized we could not take that on,’’ says Inman.
“I think that 1864: The Musical could have been fantastic if we had the funds to do it.’’
In the end, the Confederation Centre made a request to the P.E.I. 2014 board of directors to allow the full $240,000 grant to be applied to Canada Rocks!. The board ruled against giving the full amount.
P.E.I. 2014 issued a news release Thursday stating it has approved a $100,000 contribution for the musical.
Inman told The Guardian Friday that the Confederation Centre felt it needed to pump $250,000 into Canada Rocks! to give it the revamp it needs and deserves. Now, the Centre is set to make due with far less.
“We understand why P.E.I. 2014 would make that decision and we fully respect it,’’ she says.
“With our creative team here we are going to make it work and make it fantastic.’’