Local actor/playwright Lucas Myers will be Nelson’s next cultural ambassador.
Known for his hilarious one-man shows, including the Hello Baby series, Randy from Creston and, most recently, Cromoli 4 Surpeme Leader, Myers said he’s currently working on new Nelson-inspired plays that he hopes to show during his year as cultural ambassador.
“This is going to force me to get my beep together and finish these projects,” Myers joked during Nelson City Council’s annual reception at the Prestige, where the cultural ambassador announcement was made on Monday night.
In the coming year, Myers will also be remounting his 2010 show Deck and touring that around the province.
“I show my bum in Deck,” Myers laughed. “So, that’s what I’ll be spreading around to the province, just so you know.”
Cultural Development Officer Joy Barrett said there were many nominations for this year’s ambassador, which was selected from the category of theatre arts.
“The cultural development committee had a lot of talent to choose from,” Barrett said, noting Myers stood out because he’s been producing quality work for several years, with new shows every year, and regularly tours his work outside of the city.
“We want the cultural ambassador to be someone who will represent Nelson’s arts community outside of the city, to let people know about the thriving arts community we have here.”
Along with the honorary title of cultural ambassador, Myers received a $500 cash prize and a letter from the city endorsing his work, which Barrett said he can use to strengthen his position when applying for arts grants.
“Lucas is really a gem within our community,” Barrett said. “The fact he produces sell out shows each year at the Capitol is no small feat. We’re fortunate to have him represent us for the coming year.”
Myers’ family moved to Nelson when he was eight. He was introduced to improv by Trafalgar drama teacher Ken Wilson.
As a teen, he got his first big role as Sonny in the musical Grease at the Capitol Theatre.
He left Nelson to study theatre in Montreal, at the National Theatre School, and also studied at New York’s Saratoga International Theatre Institute.
After seven years in theatre school (“I could have become a doctor in that time,” he joked), he returned to Nelson to start a family and started writing and producing his original plays here.
“Who I am, and the work I do, has a lot to do with Nelson,” Myers said. “It’s a great honour to be named cultural ambassador, and I’ll try to represent the city well.”
Myers takes over the position as cultural ambassador from dancer Hiromoto Ida, who represented the Nelson in 2012. Previous cultural ambassadors include author Anne DeGrace, fibre artist Angelika Werth, and the Corazon Youth Choir.