After five years in operation the Lake Country Performing Arts Society has decided to call it quits.
Citing dwindling crowds and a lack of fresh voices, the LCPAS has voted to disband its society, which had hosted two variety shows a year since forming in April 2007.
“It’s been quite successful and it’s been great,” said founding society member Nina MacInnes.
“But I think the time is right. We’ve all enjoyed this labour of love since 2007 and now it’s time to move on.”
After turning a profit on most of its shows, the past couple variety programs have lost money, according to MacInnes. At the same time the society numbers have fallen from 10 members to just four.
And crowds at the Creekside Theatre have been too small to cover the cost of performers. At their last meeting on Aug. 14, no new members were present and the society voted to disband.
The last two shows drew less than 100 people to the Creekside Theatre, said MacInnes, who pointed to the economy as one reason why fewer people were taking in the shows.
“It is a shame that audience numbers throughout the entertainment business have been much smaller in the last couple of years due to the recession,” she said. “The cost of putting on a variety show is getting higher and there is also a growing number of smaller venues for concerts.”
MacInnes, whose father Frank Hall was on the committee that originally built the Creekside Theatre in Lake Country, says she started the LCPAS after she retired as a long-time municipal worker.
“When I was thinking of retiring I thought I would really like to be involved with the theatre,” she said, noting that she met many wonderful people over the years. “It’s surprising how many talented people we have in the community. It’s been very interesting getting to know people and seeing them perform.”
During the last few years the LCPAS brought in Celtic performances for one of its two annual shows. Most of the other programs would have as many a six different acts over a two hour plus show, a heavy workload for the small society.
As far as highlights, MacInnes says it was always fulfilling to see the audience enjoy the programs.
“I don’t think there is any one real highlight,” she said. “I think it was just so gratifying to have a good audience that appreciated all the music. The last Celtic performance we put on, the people were so enthusiastic. But it’s a shame that there just wasn’t enough of them to pay for the performer.”
The LCPAS still has some money left in its bank account and has decided that it will hand it out to community groups that focus on the performing arts, such as school band programs.
“We’re looking at giving a gift to these groups,” said MacInnes. “We need to talk to them and see exactly where we would like it spent.”
The LCPAS will meet Sept. 17 to disburse funds and to formally disband.