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After having shut its doors for six months, the Port Theatre reopened at the beginning of October.

Because the theatre’s usual 800-person audience capacity has been reduced to just 50, the Port Theatre Society understands that many people won’t be able to attend upcoming shows for a variety of reasons, such as quicker ticket sell-outs. So, they’ve created the online Spotlight Series—a live stream alternative to attending shows in person.

Andrea Noble, Port Theatre’s marketing and community outreach coordinator, says the theatre is extremely proud of the resiliency of Nanaimo’s arts and culture community amid this bizarre time. She notes the importance of ensuring that the arts are accessible to everyone: students, the elderly, the immunocompromised, families, and people who might not otherwise be able to afford a ticket to an in-person Port Theatre event.

Moreover, the quintessential rain and Pacific Northwest autumnal weather is upon us, so staying home and cozying up actually sounds enticing. Even though the pandemic blues still come in waves, industries are slowly finding ways to ensure we can get live music and the arts to help make things seem more ‘normal.’

The theatre’s website states that “The Port Theatre Society is proud to be accessible and responsive to all segments of the population… We continue to expand our community outreach and ensure access and collaboration with people from all cultures, ages, races, and genders… Folks in care homes, hospitals, or other facilities can connect to the Port Theatre. Live streaming allows more people to tune in and experience the joy of live performance.”

Artists set to perform in the near future include classical music wizards the Bergmann Piano Duo on November 1; three-time Juno Award nominee Jill Barber on November 6; Victoria’s Eric Harper, known for his exciting rock and Flamenco fusion on November 27 (the theatre describes his style as a mix between Dave Matthews and the Gypsy Kings); and Ken Lavigne, who will play a special holiday show titled “Mistletoe & Magic” on December 6.

Personally, live music and shows are two things I’ve missed the most during this pandemic. I know I’m excited to decorate my house for the holiday season, rum and eggnog in hand, and listen to the merry melodies of Ken Lavigne.

Tickets are available here (and hey, fellow students—we get a student discount!).

So, hop into something comfy, and make a night of finally getting some theatre in your life again!

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