17 Sep The Bus Stop Rolls into the Future
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(September 17, 2015) Halifax, N.S. – The Bus Stop Theatre rolls into the next phase in its evolution this month as Clare Waque, Managing Director of the Bus Stop since 2010, passes the torch to incoming Executive Director Jeremy Banks.
For over a decade the Bus Stop Theatre on Gottingen Street has been run by volunteers. Over the past few years Ms. Waque has guided the Bus Stop’s transition from a privately-run social enterprise to the Bus Stop Theatre Cooperative, an incorporated not-for-profit cooperative with a dedicated board of directors and membership. In an austere funding environment, the Bus Stop Theatre Cooperative’s move required years of planning, program development, organizational infrastructure, moxie and heart. Ms. Waque has been at the forefront of leading the organization’s endeavours to create staffing opportunities at the theatre.
“Creating opportunities for artists and producers is the reason the Bus Stop Theatre exists. Working with the cooperative to create jobs and positions of responsibility and authority really shows how the theatre has grown from offering one simple service of venue rental into a multifaceted part of this province’s arts ecology and economy.” – Clare Waque
Clare’s transition comes at a time when the Bus Stop Theatre has built a network of dedicated supporters on their board, including Board Chair Colleen MacIsaac who, along with the rest of the board assists with future-planning, managing multiple standing committees and expanding membership of the Bus Stop Theatre Cooperative. After an extensive search and interview process over the summer, the Board made the decision to hire Jeremy Banks as the new Bus Stop Theatre Executive Director.
“We are very lucky and excited to have Jeremy on the Bus Stop team,” says MacIsaac. “His experience is perfectly suited to running a community hub that serves so many different communities. The board is looking forward to working with him to help ensure that the Bus Stop not only continues providing the essential services it does, but that we can begin to start implementing some of the larger dreams that Clare and others have long held for the space.”
Jeremy comes to the Bus Stop and Halifax after years of arts management that include general Managing at Vancouver’s Pi Theatre, Managing the Marketing and Public Relations for Victoria’s Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, Founding the Nanaimo Fringe Festival (now in it’s fifth year), and self-producing and touring the Canadian Fringe Circuit with Ron Fromstein’s award winning script “The Big Smoke.”
Since arriving in Halifax to explore how culture, economics and urban planning connect through Dalhousie’s Community Design program, Jeremy has co-created #PlayMeHFX with Peter Nightingale, where painted pianos are set in downtown Halifax, has been appointed to ArtsHalifax, HRM’s advisory committee on arts and culture, and is currently collaborating with Halifax artist Erin Foster on an upcoming work facilitated by Dalhousie Art Gallery and the Dalhousie Urban Garden Society.
“It’s exciting to be a part of Bus Stop Theatre right now – change is in the air,” says Jeremy Banks about the future of the Bus Stop.
As part of the transition to a co-operative model, the Bus Stop Theatre is reaching out to past, current and future supporters to contribute to the future of this incubator of live-performance talent that has seen performances by internationally acclaimed jazz musician Mdou Moctar, festivals such as Queer Acts and the StART Festival, and the premiers of such internationally recognized successes as 2b theatre company’s When it Rains by Anthony Black.
This autumn will be a busy time for the performance venue, with the Halifax Pop Explosion, Forerunner Theatre’s Leaves of the Virgin Mary and Shakespeare by the Sea’s production of I Am My Own Wife as just a few of the events coming up in the next few months. With new management and a dedicated team of volunteers and supporters, the Bus Stop looks forward to continuing to be a vital and dedicated arts space in Halifax.
For over a decade the Bus Stop Theatre on Gottingen Street has been run by volunteers. This summer the Cooperative (BSTC) established in 2012 to develop the venue as a sustainable community resource committed to funding a part-time paid position for a general manager. In an austere funding environment the BSTC’s move required years of planning, program development, organizational infrastructure, moxie and heart. Leading the organization’s endeavour to create staffing opportunities at the theatre is Clare Waque, who took over the social enterprise from its founder Howard Beye in 2010. The Board of Directors, a diverse group of community leaders and stakeholders, held an open call for applicants and were delighted at the interest in the position despite the limited salary and immense responsibilities attached. Jeremy Banks, a multi-talented arts administrator and social innovator takes on the role of stewarding the BSTC and developing its future as a pillar of Halifax’s arts community.