By Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative
After a long hiatus, live music will return to the Mary Webb Centre for the Arts in December.
According to Peter Garapick, Board Chair for the Mary Webb Centre, the centre is planning to hold a Christmas themed concert on De. 11. While he cannot say who will be performing just yet, Garapick said it’s a very well-known and respected Canadian.
“She’s touring to promote the release of her brand new Christmas album, a bit of jazz and blues, her take on traditional seasonal music, a bit of everything,” said Garapick. “So we hope to kick off a season that usually starts in September in December and runs through until June.”
Garapick said they have been watching the Covid-19 restrictions and protocols and plan to abide by all of the rules.
Previously, the MWC would sell a maximum of 250 tickets. However, this time around, ticket sales will be limited to 150, roughly half the seating capacity.
He added that as usual tickets would be available from local retail partners. Garapick said tickets would also be available for sale by phone.
“We’re not going to do online sales this year because it’s such a mixed-up season, and we’re going just to do it by phone. So ultimately, it is first-come, first-served as general seating,” said Garapick. “We will respect all COVID-19 protocols, and we really support them.”
Seating will be spaced out, and those wishing to attend will need to be fully vaccinated.
In August, the MWC Board voted to have vaccinated shows only.
“We’ll evaluate things the closer we get to each show if anything changes, but right now, it’s with potential protocols with 150 people,” added Garapick. “Artists and agents and the venue are all working really closely together. We all want to make it work.”
Garapick has been busy lining up concerts. He said the MWC currently has six concerts already set up, but he is aiming for nine to make for at least one show a month, sometimes two.
While Garapick is busy planning for the future, he can’t help but remember the generous support from the community in the past that allowed the MWC to keep the lights on.
Last year, while not making any revenue, Garapick admitted the MWC was concerned about finances. With the shutdown of the live entertainment industry and without the revenue from concerts and art sales, the Mary Webb Centre’s budget had quickly become a challenging one to balance.
They started a campaign, Weave a Webb of Support, which allowed people to help pay bills.
“We had bills of $28,000, and we raised over $22,000 from people who cared. Some were anonymous, but some were straightforward, saying, ‘I want to pay this bill,’” said Garapick. “We cannot say enough about how successful it was. But you know, that shows how many people really enjoy what we do.”
The campaign is still open for people to make donations. Donors can assume responsibility for part or all of one of the ongoing expenses for the year with a one-time donation. Your name or business can be listed in the Webb of Support progress online, or you may remain anonymous.
Donations over $20 merit a tax receipt.
More information can be found by visiting marywebbcentre.ca/how-to-donate.