For most people, the idea of “preserving the historical record” may not at first sound like a goal that serves a theatre company’s immediate needs. However, the materials generated and collected in the course of creating, producing, and publicizing theatrical productions are of immediate value in furthering the Arts Club’s place in Canadian theatre history. After a show has closed, all those materials serve as evidence of the important work that went into each production and its impact on artists, company staff, and local audiences.
Archival intern Sheena Campbell and archival volunteer Ariana Galeano showcase historical materials at the Arts Club’s 50th birthday party on February 4, 2014. Photo by Rafaella Petrolacci
Maintaining the Arts Club’s records in a consistent and organized way will help to preserve and enable staff, as well as researchers and community users, to access the materials documenting the company’s rich history. This is the exciting role of the Arts Club Theatre Company archives! Bill Millerd’s artistic vision, the dedicated work of our staff, crew, and volunteers, in addition to the amazing talent that has found a platform on our stages, all serve as part of an amazing legacy that should be preserved in order to inspire the future of Canadian theatre here in British Columbia.
As our 50th season draws closer to its climactic ending, we want to ensure that the preservation of the Arts Club’s institutional memory continues. Our future goals include reaching out to our community of patrons and audience members for historic materials, continuing our digitization projects to post content online, and the launching of an oral history project to document the company’s audacious beginnings.
An original 1960 Arts Club calendar, among other gems from the archives. Photo by Rafaella Petrolacci
Do you have programmes, posters, or tickets from the Arts Club history you’d like to donate? Would you love to share your Arts Club memories? Do you have photos you think should be scanned and saved? The Arts Club’s story is a shared history we would love for you to take part in documenting. And, check out the materials we’ve already begun to catalogue in our new online show archive.
Please contact Sheena, Arts Club Archival Intern, at email@example.com