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Monday, September 28, 2015

A Fabulous and Frenetic Week with the Kick off to the Citadel's 50th Anniversary Season, Nuit Blanche, The HeART Beat Party, and BOOM!

September has been a bit of a blur for me.  We've been working extra hard to get ready for the Opening of the Citadel's 50th Anniversary Season,  It's been very cool looking back through the archive photos over the last 50 years and seeing who has been on the various Citadel Stages.  These will be coming out on throwback Thursday throughout the season.  I've by no means planned all of them so... if you have a favorite show you'd like to see pictures from, let me know!

Most of what we've been working hard on in terms of events this month happened this last week.  We opened the season on Thursday night with BOOM. Prior to the show, we we treated to speeches from various dignitaries, including the Lt. Governor, representatives from Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments, sponsors, the Board, Penny Ritco, Bob Baker and Kayla and Marshall Shoctor. I think Kayla Shoctor's speech was my favorite as there was something about it that spoke to the magic of the creation of the Citadel 50 years ago, and I also really liked Bob Baker's speech as it really addressed that what we have is due in large part to the artists that create.  Following the speeches the audience was surprised by a flash mob consisting of local theatre artists and led in song (The Impossible Dream) by Susan Gilmour.  This was truly magical and I got all teared up as it happened all around me.  And then the show - BOOM - which was tremendous!  An artistic marathon for solo-performer Rick Miller wrapped up in technical magic.  It traversed the Baby Boom years from Hiroshima (1945) to the Moon Landing (1969) through events personal, historical, political and cultural with a distinctly Canadian flavour.  I liked it so much that I went back to see it again on Sunday evening with the husband and son #2! Following the performance there was a fantastic party in the Shoctor lobby complete with live band, champagne and delightful treats!  It was still going when I left at midnight!

The other major kick-off event this weekend was The HeART BEAT Indoor Street Party in celebration of the mile-stone anniversaries of the three resident companies in the Citadel Theatre: the Citadel (50 years), Rapid Fire Theatre (35 years) and Catalyst Theatre (20 years).  This coincided with Nuit Blanche happening on and around Sir Winston Churchill Square all evening.  First a large group of people gathered at 7:30 p.m. to HUG THE CITADEL.  It was amazing to see all those people surrounding the building and banging their Boom Sticks! Following the HUG, the husband and I took the boys to see Chimprov at Rapid Fire Theatre.  It was Doctor Whom and we're big fans, plus the kids love improv and they've never gone to a RFT show before so it was about time!  They had a blast and I know we will be heading back for more!  There was even a Tardis in the lobby that you could go in and/or take pictures with!

After the show we came out into the streets of the Citadel to the HeART Beat Party!  All three shows in the building let out at the same time so it was packed.  Plus there were lots of people coming in from Nuit Blanche to check out what was going on!  I think the security counted approximately 4,000 people coming into the building! Live bands (Scenic Route to Alaska, and Fast Romantics) as well as Thomas Culture provided music.  There were Food Trucks lined up outside.  There was a very cool interactive guest book provided by Catalyst Theatre.  I think I saw a lot of people who perhaps had never been in the building before.  Truly a terrific time!

We also spent some time taking in the installations for Nuit Blanche.  It was really fun to see so many people taking in downtown on a Saturday night.  I am not sure if it was the art, but it was all rather civilized and fun!

Now, if that wasn't the right way to spend Alberta Culture Days, I am not sure what would be!

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