Fun, Educational Opportunities & More
Take the opportunity to try a painting class, participate in arts workshops, or attend an information session! Contact Th’YARC to sign up today, unless otherwise specified.
Happy Anniversary to the YARMOUTH ARTS REGIONAL CENTRE!
On December 15th, 2019 Th`YARC (The Yarmouth Arts Regional Centre) celebrated it’s 40th anniversary.
It began when retired teacher, Lydia Davison, initiated the idea of a Yarmouth Arts Council and Arts Centre in 1974.
The Yarmouth Arts Council would be a governing body made up of the representatives from the Yarmouth Drama Society,
the Performing Arts Group, the Yarmouth Arts Society, the Yarmouth Craft Guild, the Yarmouth Film Society, and Touring Attractions.
Th’YARC is the first and, to date, the largest multi purpose regional arts and culture centre built in Southwest Nova Scotia.
It contains the Lydia Davison Theatre (named for our late founding president), with raked soft seating for 335 patrons, fly tower,
full technical production facilities, dressing rooms, set storage and construction room, and costume studio.
The facility also contains a Lobby Gallery, a monoprint-making workshop and press, an art studio/multi-purpose space, a green room, and administrative offices.
Through the years between 1974 and 1979, plans were laid, a site purchased, funds raised, designs approved, and construction
completed on what became Th’YARC in the summer of 1979. George Miller, a retired engineer living in Yarmouth, oversaw the project.
On the board at the time was Gerry Avis (president) Lydia Davison, Alex and Vyvyan Gigeroff, Irving and Ruth Pink, Audrey Kenney,
Linda Coakley, Ruth Rideout and Eric Ruff. Jody Briggs was young theatre professional hired as the interim manager of the Centre for a
period as the construction came to completion. In the spring of 1979, the PAG staged the first production on the new stage, Annie Get Your Gun.
Two other productions were mounted before the ‘official’ launch on December 15th; The Mousetrap, by the YDS, and Guys and Dolls by the PAG.
The official opening of Th’YARC took place with an Open House on December 15, 1979. Displays by the Art Society and the Craft Guild were set up in the
lobby with the Banruku Puppet presentation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s 1958 (for NBC TV) production, and the Christmas opera, and Amahl and the Night Visitor.
Programming for the stage continued without interruption as both the YDS and the PAG, sharing the same actors and directors, provided the community with entertainment.
Under the guidance of Lydia Davison and her committee, through Touring Attractions, brought in many musicians including classical productions, to the stage.
Over the years the Board of Directors has had 27 presidents, (many who served more than 1 year), And 16 managers, (David Olie serving 8 years, and myself, Sandy Fevens, serving 18 years).
In 2007, the Council established a scholarship for a graduating student from each of the local high schools, who was accepted to undertake
university or college professional level, to prepare the recipient for a career in the performing, cinematic, visual, or literary arts.
Since the Yarmouth Arts Regional Centre first opened its doors 40 years ago - to entertain, inspire and promote arts is Southwestern Nova Scotia - we have
accomplished much on behalf of and in partnership with the residents of the area and the many visitors who come to our region annually.
For over 40 years Th’YARC has remained the centre of cultural development in our community, with season after season of live theatre, music, dance and art exhibitions.
- There have been approximately 685 workshops conducted under qualified instructors.
- We have presented nearly 2200 live performances, both amateur and professional.
- Approximately 2000 persons have been involved in live productions both onstage and behind the scenes.
- Some 312 arts, crafts, photography and costume exhibits have been displayed in Th’YARC Lobby Gallery by local artisans.
- More than 6000 area residents – and some from far away have held YARC memberships.
- Volunteers have numbered over 3000.
- And many young people who were directly involved with Th’YARC have gone onto pursue careers in the arts and related disciplines and services.
For example: Alex Gigeroff, Alan Deveau, Robin Creelman, Andre Haines, Gary Moulaison, Jeff Fevens, Heather Moulaison, Joline Paterson, Colin Frotten and many more.
- Most significant of all, over HALF A MILION PEOPLE HAVE WALKED THROUGH OUR DOORS!
Th’YARC has had its challenges from leaky roofs to restricted funds. However, in the end we have endured and overcome any obstacles that we faced.
We look forward to another 40 years and with diligence and the love of arts, Th’YARC will continue to prosper and will reach new and greater successes.