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Confederation Centre of the Arts selling off dresses, hats, coats and more to the public today

Kellie Knight, production manager at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, holds one of the costumes up for grabs today when the centre’s costume sale opens its doors to the public. The centre is trying to make room for some of its new costumes by selling off some of its older material.
Kellie Knight, production manager at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, holds one of the costumes up for grabs today when the centre’s costume sale opens its doors to the public. The centre is trying to make room for some of its new costumes by selling off some of its older material. - Mitsuki Mori

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. -  The public can take a little piece of the Charlottetown Festival home with them today.

The Confederation Centre of the Arts is cleaning out some of its closets and selling costumes that have been worn on the main stage over the years.

Some of the items date back to 1964 when the centre opened its doors.

Kellie Knight, production manager at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, talks to a reporter Wednesday about the centre’s costume sale that will be open to the public today. Knight is wearing one of the hats featured in the sale while some of the clothes can be seen behind her.
Kellie Knight, production manager at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, talks to a reporter Wednesday about the centre’s costume sale that will be open to the public today. Knight is wearing one of the hats featured in the sale while some of the clothes can be seen behind her.

Kellie Knight, the centre’s production manager, said they have been talking about addressing the situation for the better part of the past year.

“Theatres, by occupational hazard and by nature, are fantastic hoarders because you need things and you’re going to use them over and over again,’’ Knight said. “But, at a certain point, you can only keep so much before you run out of space.’’

Community theatres, dance companies, education groups and schools have been given first crack at the costumes, but the doors will be open to the public today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A clearance sale, which will also be open to the public, follows from 2:30-4 p.m. It all happens in a room located next to Memorial Hall.

Knight said as the centre produces a number of plays each year, the closets just keep getting more jam-packed, to the point where clothes are jammed in so tight the fabric starts to wear down.

They didn’t want to just throw stuff away. So, Knight sat down with Bonnie Deacon, the head of wardrobe, and came up with a costume sale. Judging by the crowd at the private sale on Wednesday, the idea was a good one.

“If you talk to a lot of the amazing craftsmen who make a lot of these costumes, they are making them by hand . . . so there’s already a lot of emotional attachment. It just means that attachment extends in out (to the community). It’s cool the public is so drawn and excited about this,’’ Knight said.

Reasha Walsh, with the Spotlight School of Art based out of Charlottetown and Summerside, could barely contain her excitement as she shopped at the private sale on Wednesday.

“We are acquiring a lot of things that we could use and a lot of things that we don’t know if we need yet but are so unique that we’re getting them,’’ Walsh said. “We’ve been doing shows for a while, so we know the value of costumes, and there’s some really nice pieces here that we can definitely utilize so it’s awesome.’’

Confederation Centre of the Arts selling off some of its old costumes today to public. Some of the items up for grabs are shawls, pants, ladies and men’s tops, scarves, aprons, shoes, dresses, costumes, hats and men’s dress jackets.
Confederation Centre of the Arts selling off some of its old costumes today to public. Some of the items up for grabs are shawls, pants, ladies and men’s tops, scarves, aprons, shoes, dresses, costumes, hats and men’s dress jackets.

Some of the costumes over the years have had to be thrown out for obvious reasons. A lot of the original costumes attached to “Anne of Green Gables: The Musical” are considered sacred and off limits for the sale.

“We found a lot of the original Anne costumes, and they’re not for sale, but we’ve been able to pull them out so we can properly archive them. We have put some of our Anne stuff out,’’ Knight said.

“Some of the (1980s) Anne has been in the racks and has already probably been sold, but a lot of the current Anne, we use that. The point is, we’re able to get rid of some of the stuff we’re never going to use so we have more room for the things that we are going to keep using.’’


At a glance

- Confederation Centre of the Arts selling off some of its old costumes today to public

- Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a clearance sale from 2:30-4 p.m.

- Some of the items up for grabs are shawls, pants, ladies and men’s tops, scarves, aprons, shoes, dresses, costumes, hats and men’s dress jackets


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