Lighthouse Festival is thrilled to share that they have entered into a five-year agreement with the City of Port Colborne to take on the artistic and facility management of the theatre at the Roselawn Centre for the Arts. This agreement gives Lighthouse full control of the entertainment offering at the theatre for the entire year and the ability to upgrade the theatre space to better meet the needs of its patrons and artists. The heritage Roselawn mansion that is also part of the Centre for the Arts will continue to be managed by the city.
Lighthouse started bringing their summer season to the Roselawn Theatre in 2012, a partnership that was embraced by theatre lovers in Port Colborne and the Niagara region. Attendance increased and annual subscriptions doubled leading Lighthouse to increase the season from four weeks to the current ten weeks.
Lighthouse is eager to continue to produce their summer season featuring five comedies as well as host guest events and performances all year round once provincial pandemic guidelines permit. They are excited to deliver more local entertainment to Port Colborne’s residents and provide additional attractions to the city’s robust tourism offering. Lighthouse Festival has been developing relationships with guest performers and acts for 40 years in Port Dover and is thrilled to offer those artists another venue with a dedicated audience.
“On behalf of City Council and staff, we’re thrilled to partner with Lighthouse Festival to manage the Roselawn Theatre,” said Mayor Bill Steele. “Arts and culture are an important part of this community, and this opportunity will expand theatre and entertainment in Port Colborne for residents and visitors. We look forward to working closely with Lighthouse Festival to enhance the creative, artistic, and vibrant energy in the city.”
This new agreement speaks to Lighthouse’s mandate to grow theatre in rural Southern Ontario and make it available to as many people as possible, to support and encourage local and regional artists, and to provide enrichment and opportunity for the community with a central policy of accessibility, affordability and hospitality.
“There is nothing more rewarding to a region than having a successful live theatre thriving in a community. It quickly becomes a place for people to come together and share. A place to laugh and cheer together. A place to be proud of.” said Derek Ritschel, Artistic Director of Lighthouse Festival. “Lighthouse has every intention of taking what exists at the Roselawn Theatre and dramatically scaling up the live experience for everyone who crosses her threshold. I could not be more pleased to add the Roselawn Theatre to the provincial map of successful live theatres in Ontario.”
Taking on the management of the facility has allowed Lighthouse to use this pandemic period of pause to start improvements at the Roselawn Theatre. New technical equipment that will enhance the live events has been installed, including new lighting and major upgrades to the sound capabilities of the auditorium. A new lobby, bar and art gallery will also await all who come to Roselawn Theatre when it re-opens.
Lighthouse Festival is a thriving professional theatre company devoted to the development and production of new and existing Canadian plays. A source of enjoyment, involvement and pride for their community in Port Dover and now in Port Colborne, Lighthouse is thrilled to present artistically excellent productions in two port towns on Lake Erie.