24 Feb Call to Action: Letters of Support Needed!
As announced earlier, 2019 is a critical year for the Bus Stop Theatre. In order to secure a future for itself and space for artists in Nova Scotia, the Bus Stop Theatre Co-op is planning to take over ownership of the building in which it operates by the end of the year. But more than that, we are making plans for the expansion of the current building to include desperately needed additional performance and rehearsal spaces.
A Vision For the Future
Over the past 15 years, the Bus Stop Theatre has become one of the busiest cultural venues in the province where countless artists present their works to local audiences. The Bus Stop hosts both local and touring artists, emerging as well as established talent, and creators across disciplines including theatre, music, dance, film, poetry, visual art, improv, comedy, and more. The Bus Stop is an affordable and accessible space for organizations and has become a meeting place for many communities. We want to make sure we can continue providing this essential space on Gottingen Street, and we are excited by the possibility of providing more of it!
Small, affordable venues are rapidly disappearing in Halifax. Not only can we not afford to lose the Bus Stop Theatre, we need more spaces like it, and that’s why we want to grow. The value of an investment in the Bus Stop Theatre can be multiplied exponentially through an expansion project that would allow us to meet a growing need that can’t be filled with one space alone.
With support from all levels of government, in addition to private sector fundraising, we can make use of the empty lot behind our current theatre to build a second performance venue and two new rehearsal studios. Having more space will allow for more availability, which is currently very limited. The new (second) performance space would only have a slightly larger footprint than the current one, keeping in mind the intimate ambiance of the current theatre. The main differences would be it’s height (a 30′ ceiling with catwalks for lighting) and its construction as a purpose-built theatre. Halifax artists deserve a venue that is designed and built to showcase our talents.
It goes without saying that the Bus Stop Theatre Co-op is set on preserving its mandate to provide affordable and accessible space, and also to provide learning and skills-building opportunities in our expanded facilities.
Your Letters of Support Are Needed
We need your support to make this happen. First, to make sure that we can preserve the current Bus Stop Theatre. Second, to build onto its legacy and make use of the empty lot to provide more affordable space to artists and members of our community.
Please take the time to send a letter to the people listed below who need to hear from you about why the Bus Stop Theatre is important and worth public investment. Feel free to use the template provided below, or write your own letter addressed to ALL persons below. It is important that you contact your own representatives in addition to those listed below by using the provided directories – especially if you live off the peninsula where it may be more challenging to get support. Please send us a carbon copy (cc) so that we know the message is getting through.
- The Honourable Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture & Heritage – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor Mike Savage – email@example.com
- Councillor Lindell Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org
- MLA, Lisa Roberts – email@example.com
- MP, Andy Fillmore – Andy.Fillmore@parl.gc.ca
- Your HRM Councillor – Directory
- Your provincial MLA – Directory
- Your federal MP – Directory
- Marcel McKeough, NS Culture and Heritage Development – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elizabeth Taylor, HRM Manager Culture & Events – email@example.com
- David Burton, Canadian Heritage Regional Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Andy.Fillmore@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Invest in a future for the Bus Stop Theatre
Dear representatives and civil stewards of culture and heritage,
I am writing to express support for the Bus Stop Theatre Co-op’s plan to purchase the property currently housing them and also to build additional spaces for cultural creation and presentation.
The Bus Stop Theatre is a crucial and unique institution in Halifax: a financially accessible venue with a strong mandate of community engagement and facilities for theatre, music, film screenings, art installations and more. The Bus Stop is welcoming to diverse artists and audiences and has a strong reputation for supporting emerging artists from all communities. It is also a venue which draws well established artists both from the region and farther afield and often serves as a launchpad for many artists whose careers attain national and international recognition. The Bus Stop’s presence as a hub of cultural activity in Halifax and the province is essential.
Furthermore, Halifax is in desperate need of spaces for cultural showcasing and the disappearance of the Bus Stop Theatre would be devastating to numerous arts organizations across disciplines. I fully support their plan to purchase their building and expand their facilities.