The Venue - Performance and Visual Arts Society
The Center is run by the society of the same name. It is ideal for smaller performance groups. Excellent acoustics and a comfortable coffee house atmosphere makes it an excellent performance venue. It is, however, not only a performance venue. It's use is that of a training venue for young and new performers. A place where those that are learning the craft of stage performance can learn from seasoned veterans by watching them perform in practice sessions, workshops and other teaching forums where they will realize the work that goes into putting
on a "polished" stage performance. As time goes on and our Society's membership grows, there will be several bands practicing on a regular basis at all different levels of expertise. This resource will be invaluable for up and coming performers.
My name is Rick Brown. My reason for starting The Venue goes back to when I was a young lad. My parents enrolled me in accordion school. I was thankful that they did. I remember the recitals, they were terrifying. I was shy and had no self-confidence. As I got older I joined a marching band and played the tenor saxophone. That didn't do much for my self-confidence either and I would rarely play my saxophone outside the confines of the marching band practices. When I got to high school I took up the guitar. One summer, while on a student exchange in Newfoundland, myself and a couple of other friends were at a dance. One of them mentioned to the band playing that he and I played guitar. So at their break they invited us up to play. I think I knew three chords at the time. I didn't want to get up on the stage, I had never been on one before. I was petrified. Well, we got up on the stage and made fools of ourselves. We had no
idea what we were doing on the stage, the lights, the P.A. system, the electric guitars ... I was totally freaked out - and yet this was my dream but it turned out to be my nightmare. I swore that day I would learn how everything worked, get over my fear and get on the stage again and perform.In the '80s I started a rock band with some buddies and finally learned what I needed to know about being on the stage. I played bass guitar and tenor saxophone. I realized that stage presence is a learned art as is overcoming shyness.
Twenty years later, with the rock band nothing more than a memory, I was talking to my work companions and found most of them had guitars and wished they had been in a rock band like I had been. I said why not? So we build a covered deck in my back yard and began practicing. When they were feeling confident we started inviting friends over and had barbecue dance parties. That group of 'ol geezers were acting like teenagers. We ended up doing every second weekend for that whole summer. No one wanted to quit, they were having too much fun. It was then I realized the power of music to revitalize us and connect us as a community so we can tell our stories and make us feel young again.
When I retired to Creston The Snoring Sasquatch had just closed it's doors for the final time and there really was no where for an inexperienced person to perform. Yes there were coffee houses and live music at the bars, but to the uninitiated they can be a terrifying experience. I saw a real need for not just an intimate coffee house venue but more importantly a place that performers could call their own. A place they could "get their chops" so to speak, where they could learn and grow and eventually perform. With that in my mind, I found the building we are in now. It was previously a church called The Faith Centre. After renting it June of 2018 I began renovating it for use as a performance and training hall. Being an artist as well as a musician I wanted to develop the building into a place where music and art could be
experimented with and fused together.We now have a place that is available for those that require a professional stage setting for their music, art and performance projects. It is a place not only for entertainment but for learning for both young and old. If we can train young artists and let them experience the joy of performing or running a performance then we will have great resources for the future. I am keen on seeing projects that fuse music, art and performance in ways that may not have been fully explored in the past. My goal is to let imaginations pave the way to new and innovative art forms that will not only be entertaining but informative as well.
There are many stories to be told by musicians, artisans and performers and yet we are one community.The Venue has become a valuable asset to the community as we develop it and discover the many uses it will have in the future. It is perfectly situated to be rented as a community hall, a place for family gatherings, the possibilities are really endless. We have recently installed an L.E.D. projector and a 12ft X 6ft screen on the stage back wall and are now having movies nights and matinees every other week.