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With 14 Grammy nominations and several wins, Steve Earle closed the Key City Theatre’s twentieth anniversary season with an evening of songs and stories that was truly outstanding.
Twenty years, over half a million tickets sold, hundreds of performances, thousands of musicians, singers, actors and dancers, and one sensational season celebrated it all with world-class entertainment. The 2011-12 season marked the Key City Theatre’s twentieth year of providing quality entertainment to the people of the East Kootenays.
Where else can you say that you saw musical legends like Steve Earle and Johnny Winter in an intimate, comfortable and affordable venue? Prices for shows like the internationally acclaimed Celtic Tenors were under $45 at the Key City Theatre, while they were $99 elsewhere in BC.
This season alone the theatre was busy 145 days for over 45,000 patrons, and had a dozen sold-out shows. Established performers from across Canada like Terri Clark, the Rankin Family, Liona Boyd, the Irish Rovers, and rising stars like Jill Barber all made stops at the Key City Theatre this season. And it wasn’t just outstanding music, Ballet Jorgen’s Anastasia, and Vancouver’s renowned Arts Club Theatre with their Buddy Holly both filled the House, and even Noises Off, starring all local talent, brought in over 1,200 people during its hilarious run.
What most people don’t realize is that the Key City Theatre, a non-profit society, has only 4 full-time staff. The theatre would either have to charge ‘big city’ prices or close if it wasn’t for the hundred volunteers who usher and run the concession at every show, donors, and the season’s sponsors, A&W, Northstar GM, RBC Foundation, Pepsi, Prestige Hotels and Resorts, Spring Honda, St. Eugene Golf Resort Casino, Xerox, and especially Falkins Insurance, the theatre’s Major Season Sponsor.
“I don’t think people realize how important our volunteers, donors, and sponsors are,” said Managing Director, Patrick LeBlanc. “We do receive a grant from the City of Cranbrook, but most theatres in this province are City owned and they receive much more funding than we do from their municipalities and they have way more staff. We’re pretty tired by June but what an amazing season this has been, and next year will be just as amazing”.
When asked for hints about the upcoming season, LeBlanc says “there will be something for everyone.” Brochures for the Key City Theatre’s twenty-first season will be mailed out in August.