By Lucas Myers
Dear Citizens: When I was appointed Nelson’s Cultural Ambassador for 2013, I had high hopes.
I dreamed of riding through the streets on my stallion, or, at least, a jaunty pony named Carl, with a fancy hat and some kind of cape, shouting, “Arte Vida!” and exhorting people to visit galleries, go to plays, and check out a band every night.
When Carl never showed up, and, to be fair, he was never officially part of the deal, and the realities of being Momdad to my two children while my impossibly dedicated wife worked full-time plus as a teacher, I focused on more realistic goals.
I had a very successful year touring my shows Deck and Hello Baby through BC, from Quesnel, through the Okanagan, with stops in the suburbs of Vancouver and a recent jaunt to Vancouver Island.
It was on this tour that I discovered something very interesting.
On every stop on the tour, when it was announced in the pre-show speech that I was Nelson’s Cultural Ambassador, a buzz would go through the crowd.
I realized that I wasn’t making Nelson look good, but that Nelson was making me look good.
Our town has a reputation as being a cultural mecca, which made my job infinitely easier.
So, before I hang up my spurs and hand the reins (I really wanted that pony) over to our next ambassador, Amy Bohigian, I would like to acknowledge some of the events that occurred during my tenure that make this town the incredible arts community that it is.
The Civic Theatre:
How fitting that in the same year that the Capitol Theatre celebrated its 25th anniversary of being rescued from ruin, that this amazing venue is given a new lease on life through an incredible community effort.
So, is it weird that two massive, full-scale Broadway musicals can be produced in the same season (Jesus Christ Superstar and Cabaret) with two totally different casts? And that the “student production” of Sweeney Todd was as good as the professional grade productions?
Yes, it is weird. Very freakin’ weird. And mind blowingly awesome.
As soon as the sculptures were installed I immediately thought, “Well, duh, why haven’t there been sculptures there all along?”
On a personal note, this was a year that I broke out of the one-man show box and performed with others.
Singing in a choir with a symphony on a glacier for the Requiem for a Glacier project was truly life altering, and being in a “real” play, Arms and the Man, with an actual cast and a director, was like going home.
As much as I hope that I represented Nelson well this past year, I cannot express how much Nelson has given me.
Arte Vida! Hi Ho Carl, Away!