News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3193
Last updateWed, 06 Dec 2023 10am

Kaleidoscope Theatre to produce one more show before moving back home


    The Kaleidoscope Theatre will have one more production before moving back home to their Drumheller Composite High School location.
    Details are yet to be finalized but president Megan McLauchlin told inSide Drumheller they were hoping to produce the musical comedy, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, in the fall as their final show before going back home.  The show will be directed by vice president Colin Regamey.
    “It has been very hard putting on a play without our theatre,” said McLaughlin, explaining all the work this entailed, such as needing to rent space, sound and lighting equipment, building a stage and having limited access for rehearsal.
    “Putting on a show is quite a big undertaking, and it is double or triple the work when you are not in your location.”
    Although challenging, working without their theatre has also been interesting, said McLauchlin, adding “I don’t know if Cabanet would have been as good in a big theatre, because it would not have been so intimate.  At the Navy League building, you felt like you were in a little cabaret club in Germany. Whereas I think if we had done it at the Kaleidoscope, it could have been a whole different show and might have had a whole different feel.”
    While they are hoping to start auditions for the next show in September, the team has been busy doing casinos to raise money to give the theatre a bit of a makeover when they are able to move back to their premises in January 2011.     “We are actually revitalizing the theatre’s interior,” said McLauchlin. “We will be putting in new seats and repainting. We also have a volunteer designer helping us, it will look like a new space.”
    For the grand re-opening, McLauchlin said they hope to produce a big musical in late spring, early summer 2011.

Atlas Coal Mine tipple timber assessed by historic preservation experts


    Expert engineers from the Vancouver-based Macdonald and Lawrence Timber Framing Ltd. were onsite at the Atlas Coal Mine in East Coulee recently to assess the timber condition on its tipple.
    Last year, rot was found around some of the wood joints and this gave Linda Digby, executive director of the Atlas Coal Mine, concern. The affected part is supported by metal scaffolding so her concern wasn't for public safety. She explained to The Weekender her concern was focussed on the longevity of the framework as this tipple is the last one in Canada that allows people to climb.
    After an engineer's assessment, the museum applied for funding and received help from both the provincial and federal governments.
    “We are very lucky, we have all the expertise from Alberta Historical Resources and Parks of Canada Historic Site to help us direct this project,” said Digby.
    The Mine received a few bids from contractors but Macdonald and Lawrence, whom they found through the Timber Framers Guild, impressed them most with their level of expertise, their portfolio and the quality of their equipment.
    “These guys have done historic preservation all over the globe, for instance in Antarctica with the conservation and restoration of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Nimrod Hut. They have also done work on Buckingham Palace, and their resume includes a letter of thanks from the Queen!” she said.
    “It takes a particular kind of expertise to do work on our site, we need a high level of contractor who understands historic restoration and who just has to know how to deal with challenges such as working at heights and with limited access. They also need to be sensitive to the fact that this is a museum and therefore there will be people around. And of course they must have the right trade skills. Macdonald and Lawrence had by far the most compelling package.”
    Engineers came to the site to gather intelligence on the timber. Using specialized machinery, they drilled core samples from the timber to make a profile of its condition, which will help them determine which to replace.
    The work is expected to start in July for a period of three weeks, during which time the tipple tours will not be available to the public.
    The team will then return in September to spend the month finishing the project.

Golden Hills School Division confirms Carbon High School to remain open

    Following a consultation with parents of Grades 9-11 Carbon School students (next year’s high school group) on Thursday May 6, the Golden Hill School Division (GHSD) has confirmed the school will remain open.
    “There was never a motion to close it,” clarified board member, division contact Shirley Buyer, adding “as long as we don’t get people pulling their kids from the school, it will remain open.”
    The consultation served to discuss the enrolment challenges and to invite the school council to provide input on the long term sustainability of the high school.
    Ron Kenworthy, chair of the GHSD, told The Mail the board looked at different schools in December/January to determine if there were any sustainability problems in them.
    “It became apparent afterward that the Carbon School was having decreasing enrolment in their High School, that a lot of kids were going to different schools in the area other than Carbon.
    We thought at that time we should start a conversation with the parents to find out how they are feeling about it because if they were saying ‘ok the school is getting too small’, we’d have needed to do something right now, so we needed to know that,” said Kenworthy.
    “It wasn’t so much about the funding, although it is always difficult to maintain a school with low enrolment, but more importantly, it was how the parents felt about the program being offered. We wanted to speak to the parents whose children are the most affected right now to see if they wanted something done right now.”
    Kenworthy said parents’ views were mixed, but mostly indicating a level of satisfaction with the program.
    He also told The Mail there would be ongoing discussions in the coming year with the school council to ensure the situation was reviewed regularly.
    “We want to start the dialogue with the parents,” said Kenworthy. “The indications we have is that things are not all that well, when you look at the results for example.”
    Jeannette Giesbrecht, Carbon resident with children attending the Carbon School believes they will be facing the same battle next year.
    “I am going to start emailing our MLAs…We need to do something, we can’t lose it next year either.”
    Giesbrecht told The Mail that parents would be having  another meeting to decide what the next step is going to be, adding “I think what we need to do is to start looking at these kids who are going to other schools to try and encourage them to come back because enrolment is an issue.”
    When questioned about how the school board would deal with funding adjustments, Buyer said the school may suffer teachers’ cut so they may have to adjust the timetables.
    She also stressed that people needed to realize these problems were not due to the local boards but government’s decisions.


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