Caravan Farm Theatre artistic director Estelle Shook says the show will go on once it is deemed safe to do so. (Submitted Photo)

Caravan Farm Theatre artistic director Estelle Shook says the show will go on once it is deemed safe to do so. (Submitted Photo)

Caravan postpones summer show as Spallumcheen theatre takes a loss

Curtain remains closed and fundraiser campaign started to help local farm theatre

As live theatre takes a bow for now due to these unprecedented times, B.C.’s renowned Caravan Farm Theatre has taken steps to ensure its future.

Staff, board members, and theatre alumni are busy working behind the scenes at the outdoor theatre, located on an 80-acre farm northeast of Armstrong, to make sure that the shows go on once it is deemed safe to do so, says Caravan artistic director Estelle Shook.

Caravan has postponed its 2020 summer production of Blackhorse as well as its winter sleigh-ride production, based on It’s a Wonderful Life, due to the B.C. government’s Phase 3 COVID-19 regulations that stipulate that no more than 50 people gather for theatre and other live performing arts events.

“We had a cast and crew of more than 50 people who were supposed to come from all over the country to start work on the show. It was a huge ship to sail and everything was in motion. However, when the COVID-19 safety regulations were put into place, we had to cancel all theatre activity here at Caravan,” said Shook. “We are paying a steep price for this. We have lost over $200,000 in revenues from our summer show.”

To make up for the loss, Caravan has started a fundraising campaign and is asking their regular theatre goers to donate to the farm in lieu of buying tickets to this year’s productions.

“If you love coming to the Caravan and are missing us, consider donating the money you might have spent on tickets. Any amount will help us support our artists, care for our venue, and maintain our momentum, so that we can be ready to go when we re-open.” Shook said.

Despite the fact that shows will not carry on in the usual manner, Caravan has several projects in the works: infrastructure, a rural broadband campaign, and a series of digital and small-scale events slated for late summer and fall.

“We’re still in full production, but it’s currently all under the surface,” Shook said.

Infrastructure projects include removal of derelict buildings and renovations to Caravan’s core facilities.

“We have struck a steering committee of 16 alumni to develop a strategic plan for the renewal of our cookshack, designery, and office space. We are planning for a major capital campaign for a new arts centre facility here at the farm,” Shook said.

Caravan is also spearheading a campaign to bring faster and more reliable broadband internet service to the North Spallumcheen region.

“We have conducted a survey and started a petition to send to our local government and Internet service providers. Better broadband will allow all North Spallumcheen residents to have essential connectivity as we navigate the new normal of COVID-19,” Shook said.

Better internet service will also help the farm with a number of upcoming projects.

One of those projects includes a mini Canadian film festival series that will be screened in the farm’s open-air timber barn and will adhere to social distancing and gathering regulations.

“We are also commissioning smaller works that will be available digitally. They are all in development and we should start seeing activity and events in the coming months,” Shook said.

Stay tuned also for a smaller winter sleigh-ride event to take place this winter.

For more information, news on upcoming events, or to donate to Caravan’s current campaign, visit www.caravanfarmtheatre.com.

READ MORE: Fearsome theatrics at Armstrong’s Caravan Farm

READ MORE: Support shown from home for Vernon’s virtual Midsummer’s Eve


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Arts and EntertainmentCoronavirusLive theatre

Just Posted

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

The Kalamalka Lake water source is being turned off next week starting on Monday, May 17, 2021 for some operational repairs. (Black Press Media file photo)
Kalamalka Lake water source turning off for repairs starting Monday

Greater Vernon Water expects the repairs to last one week

Vernon Search and Rescue's Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

Construction is a booming industry around town, including work at the 27th Street lot next to Co-op, where a car wash and Triple O’s are being built. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Construction hammers ahead in Vernon

Building permits and values on pace to beat 2020

(Bob Fleming photo)
The Regional District of North Okanagan is in talks with Electoral Area B and C neighbourhoods regarding the potential to extend a future community sewer system to include their properties. (Bob Fleming photo)
More neighbourhoods could be added to new North Okanagan sewer system

Switches from septic to sewer would likely increase development, housing density, the RDNO says

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Doctor Jessica Luksts is being recognized on BC Family Doctor Day for her part in the early days of the pandemic. (Submitted)
Celebrate BC Family Doctor Day on May 19

The South Okanagan Similkameen has over 80 family doctors serving the community

COVID-19 virus. (Black Press Media file)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Kelowna retirement home

The outbreak at Sandalwood Retirement Resort was initially announced by Interior Health on April 23

Most Read