Curtain Closes on Community Run Summer Theatre

Playhouse-front-200x300(Source: Bancroft Summer Theatre ) After 24 years of building a live theatre program at the Village Playhouse, Bancroft Summer Theatre regrets to inform its patrons and sponsors that a community based summer theatre season will not be offered this season at the Village Playhouse.

While new management at the venue has made great strides in restoring the building, it has come at a price that is no longer affordable to community theatre groups and its members. “Celebrating our 25th anniversary in the dark is a stark reminder how money almost always trumps culture”, stated Daniel Boileau speaking on behalf of Bancroft Summer Theatre (BST).

Over the past 24 years, the venue was restored with original tiered seating and set up with state of the art lighting and sound equipment to improve the live theatre experience. With the help of provincials grants obtained through the Algonquin Arts Council and the founding members of Bancroft Theatre Guild and Theatrics’ Summer Theatre, the Village Playhouse became a local hub for live theatre, seating up to 190 patrons per evening for two months every summer.

The annual event provided community hours to local high school students and helped launch several careers for students who caught the theatre bug. Students were able to receive training in running a snack bar, selling tickets and running a theatre facility. Actors were encouraged to practice their craft while new tech people worked with professional lighting and sound staff to hone their skills. (It could take a pro up to 3 days to fully program the lighting board for a single production.) Local restaurants and shops benefitted with crowds of people coming into town for dinner prior to a show. Sponsors were able to reach summer cottagers easily and inexpensively. Members of St. Pauls Church raised funds by preparing pre-show dinner packages. Kids got to perform for the first time on a big stage. New talent arose from events such as The 24 Hour Theatre Project introduced by our very own November Theatre.

The Village Playhouse has served as a real community based venue which instilled a sense of cooperation, social skills and cultural growth for a current group of approximately 150 locals as well as past members who envisioned a real theatre in our little village. Kim Crawford, Chairperson of the not-for-profit Bancroft Summer Theatre and the Algonquin Arts Council, added “It is so unfortunate that progress has to be made at the expense of community. While there have been great changes and upgrades to The Village Playhouse, these improvements have come at the expense of our local theatre groups.”

Kevin Newman, President of the Bancroft Theatre Guild said “With 24 years of theatre infrastructure now inaccessible to community groups we have been forced to start from scratch”. People involved in theatre are taking this in stride and planning for the future quietly. “If 150 kids on ten hockey teams were to lose their ice time at the community arena there would be a riot in town”, added Daniel Boileau. “Theatre people take these events as a challenge because as we all know, everything changes”. Watch for a newly
re-invented, re-invigorated theatre scene to appear in the near future. To our 2,500 plus summer theatre patrons and many sponsors we offer our thanks for your past and continued support.

You are going shopping anyway so why not do this?

Bancroft Pregnancy CareI have recently been told of a program here in Bancroft that in my humble opinion is absolutely amazing. You can buy gift cards and support The Bancroft Pregnancy Care Centre … a win win!

How it works is you just purchase a card for the store of your choice (No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, or Foodland) from one of their pick up locations (Bancroft Pregnancy Centre, McMicheal Jewelers or Alice’s Pantry). You get the same value that you’ve paid for the card ($100 cash = $100 grocery card). The Pregnancy Centre receives 5% of the card value automatically. This is a huge help to them, since they rely completely on donations to keep their doors open, and it’s no extra money out of your pocket.

But if you think for a minute … it is an amazing budgeting tool as well. OK, I am going to come clean, it was actually Heather Johns that informed me of this program as she utilizes it herself in her work with clients. It is particularly helpful for people on a fixed income and people who like to spend money (which is all of us, right?) . Heck, they will be working great for me soon as I can be an impulse shopper.

With these cards, they make you think twice before tossing that extra bag on chips, or chocolate bar or…. into your cart. We all have a spending plan whether we realize it or not and sometimes can use that extra helping hand in order to to keep things on track.

My challenge to you is try it for one month (as I will be) not only are you supporting a great cause but you are also supporting yourself.

Urban Girl

Local Businesses Support the Achievement of Another

truescarlette5 404x252It is hard to believe that it has just been a year since Sandra Pilkington took over True Scarlette. As many of you know True Scarlette is one of the best places North of 7 for aesthetics and tanning.

On Friday, March 11 Sandra held her 1 year anniversary and to show her clients appreciation for the support they have given over the last year she reached out to other businesses in the area to see if they would be interested in donating door prizes.

The response was phenomenal and I have to say I was impressed by each donation. The grande prize was a night at the Teddy Bear Bed and Breakfast, dinner for 2 at the Granite and Bancroft Taxi donated the ride to and from the Granite. Other business that also donated was one of our gems here The Old Tin Shed, The “Hair”itage House, and Ambient Glow. Uvalux who is one of Sandra’s suppliers also donated a wealth of tanning products and gift basket to be given away.

As Sandra spoke to both Bancroft This Week and Mary Kavanagh town councillor and with the BBIA she explained that although a year of up and downs, it has mostly been up. By expanding products and services after listening to her existing cliental she has been able to grow the business and looks forward to keep doing so in the coming years.

The winners of the prizes are being drawn this coming Monday morning and I’ll update you with the winners then.

There is an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child….I think this could be adopted to small rural businesses in supporting each others milestones. Just food for thought.


Urban Girl


Never really liked the dentist….but Northern Pines Dental changed that

Northern Pines Dental Living North of 7

After losing two veneers I finally bit the bullet (pun intended) and went to the dentist. Ok, I was actually kidnapped by my dad on the pretence of going to lunch but he took me to Northern Pines Dental. This was a referral from Dave Rattle who knows me and the look of panic on my face when he approached if I had been yet…

I think that dad was tired of my being cranky as probably were Heather JohnsSandra Pilkington and Dista Goguen. If not for the support of these 3 ladies … I would have really lost my mind … I am pretty sure they lost theirs with me though 🙂

Walking into a dentist office for me is like jumping off a bridge when you are afraid of heights, but from the first moment I entered they immediately sensed my unease and quickly started to try to put me at ease. The receptionist was vibrant and patient with just a bit of well placed humour that started to relax me.

Dr. Wayne Lord is who treated me and he did with kid gloves. He explained my options and went through both the pros and cons so that I was able to make an informed decision. Sometimes cost is a factor and Dr. Lord, I have to say is more reasonable than you can imagine and I thank him for that. The time alone he spent with a walk in /kidnapping is to be commended.

Although I knew what was going to happen ( throw in an over active imagination) Dr. Lord informed me of each step before beginning … also asking me to please breathe every few minutes. From the tone of his voice and gentle style, I have to say that this was probably the best experience I have ever had with going to a dentist.

All I can end with is if you are looking for a dentist that is just plain amazing I highly suggest that you contact Northern Pines Dental … you won’t be sorry.

Urban Girl






One man helping keeping Bancroft beautiful

Bancroft George FAgain, you never know what you will stumble upon here in Bancroft. For the last few months I have watched a man cleaning up the ATV trail between Bridge Street and Station Street and I always thought it was a town employee … did I find out differently.

The residents at the Riverside Chateau are grateful to George as it gives them a view of the ATV trail and they, like so many others … enjoy people watching where as before they couldn’t.

George Frivalt is a man on a mission and although I have seen him almost daily it was the first time I stopped to say thank you. He has been cleaning up the over grown shrubs and trimming the trees back, all at his own time and expense. George is hoping that the town will assist in helping him get rid the bush that has been cleared and he did mention that he spoke to a town employee a few weeks back but no one has contacted him since.

I am grateful as well as I walk the pup there daily and it just looks so much better and cleaner and to be honest easier to clean up after the pup when the grass isn’t past your waste:)

Thank you George helping keep Bancroft beautiful!

Urban Girl xoxo