COLUMN: Say hello to summer with The Civic

The Civic Theatre's Eleanor Stacey's eloquent column about all the unique civic theatre events for summer.

This past weekend may have marked the longest day of the year, but I always find that it is the end of school that is somehow the true moment in which the shift to summer finally takes place.

Everyone readies themselves for the change, and it feels like it ripples everywhere, from families working out what their kids will do, workplaces figuring out how to cover as employees take vacations, and grandparents looking forward to their grandchildren’s visits. For many families, this week is the proverbial end of year and beginning of summer holidays.

At The Civic, we’re getting ready too. Our shift into summer begins this Friday with a presence at MarketFest, with some exciting surprises in store, so please come visit us while you are on Baker St. that evening. We are offering a first big opportunity for people to begin or renew their memberships with us, and, for the first time, sign up for subscriptions to our Art on Screen series, as well as try out our new Thursday Night movie pass and Cinema Flex pass.

All of these are brand new this year, geared towards ensuring that our guests have a fantastic experience when they come to our theatre. (We’re so excited about these new options, we’re offering mini-combos to everyone who becomes a subscriber at MarketFest!)

For next week (June 29 and 30 and July 2 and 3), we’re pleased to announce Spring into Summer, The Civic’s answer to that awkward time between the end of school and the beginning of summer. With admission by donation, Spring into Summer offers four days of family-friendly film favourites starting at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. daily.

We are also planning some special events in the coming months as well, and while Jason Asbell and I know that we should probably stay tight-lipped about them until we print our posters, it’s just too much fun to keep to ourselves.

On July 19, we will be hosting a Super Evil party, offering the opportunity for all minions and super villains to join us for a special visit by a truly Despicable Super Evil Master Bad Guy (a new character to be unveiled by Lucas Myers), looking to recruit his subservient army before we show Minions, the latest addition to the Despicable Me series.

On Aug. 19, we are pleased to be kicking off our Art on Screen season with our free event, Opera for Everyone. In this inaugural year of a tradition we hope to continue, we will present The Mimi Trilogy, highlighting the La Boheme story in popular culture. Beginning with a matinee screening of Baz Luhrmann’s opulent Moulin Rouge, we will continue with the Royal Opera House’s 2015 production of Puccini’s beloved La Boheme, and closing with a $5 suggested donation late-evening sing-a-long presentation of the film version of the Broadway sensation Rent (19-plus).

The goal of Opera for Everyone is to break down barriers to this beautiful classical form, and invite people to give it a try, especially if it is for the very first time.

What a summer we have ahead of us. We are looking forward to showing new releases like Terminator, Batman v. Superman, Inside Out, and Ted 2, but it is the addition of these special and local community-minded experiences is really getting us revved up about summer this year. Come on in and cool down with us (the air-conditioning is on!).

Eleanor Stacey is the executive director of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society.

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