The CPN includes more than 300 local businesses and organizations who are broadening their capacity to engage with diverse communities and be more inclusive. In each edition we highlight one of our members and the work they do to support inclusion.
Langham Court Theatre is one of our newer members of the CPN. They also happen to be the longest running community theatre in Western Canada. Founded in 1929, Langham Court Theatre has a long and storied tradition of offering theatre productions to appreciative audiences over the generations.
As General Manager of Langham Court, Michelle Buck understands the value of expanding the storied theatre’s connections to a Greater Victoria that is ever growing and increasingly diverse. In the fall of 2017, Langham joined the CPN as part of an effort to broaden community connections. Michelle explained: “We joined the CPN as part of a commitment to support and increase Langham’s capacity to welcome diversity amongst our membership and patrons. We wanted the opportunity to work alongside other arts organizations and members of the CPN.”
A volunteer fueled community theatre, Langham prides itself on offering engaging and high quality theatre with a dedicated band of volunteers, actors and creative teams. Nestled in the Rockland Avenue area, for over 90 years, Langham has produced more than 500 shows enjoyed by half a million patrons. Langham continues to be one of Western Canada’s community theatre success stories, offering six productions a year with a mix of traditional and modern works. As much as tradition and history have been key to Langham’s success, joining the CPN has also opened the doors to diverse opportunities.
In September 2018, for example, Langham hosted a public presentation on refugees entitled: “Canada and the Global Refugee Crisis” with Jean-Nicolas Beuze- Canada’s representative to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Organized in collaboration with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) and the CPN, the event was an example of how local theatre can diversify its programs to reach out to and welcome a broader audience.
More recently, Langham Court worked with the CPN and other local arts organizations to plan a seminar on the topic of Arts, Culture and Diversity. The session brought together more than 40 local arts and cultural stakeholders. Participants identified key strategies and actions to support arts organizations’ desire to engage effectively with diverse communities to enhance programming and increase representation in their staff, leadership and volunteer base.
Michelle reflected: “Since joining the CPN, Langham Court has contributed to learning about building a welcoming, diverse and inclusive theatre community. Attending workshops, presentations and being engaged as a member of the arts and culture diversity working group has been a rewarding experience leading to new relationships, knowledge and connections.”
Langham Court Theatre’s long history has yielded to new traditions that promise many more anniversaries in the future!