Pontiac Community Players put on fundraising play

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Kate Aley

A hilarious one-hour play called Maid to Order was presented in Shawville April 13 and 14 by local theatre troupe, the Pontiac Community Players (PCP). Sold-out on both evenings, the profits will go towards the Pontiac High School restoration project to update lighting, sound and add a 20-foot electronic screen to be used for both school and community movie screenings. Further improvements to seating and ventilation are planned.

Above, hapless police officers Craig Young (left) and Neil MacIntosh (right) ask the slightly-shady Charles Cambin (Richard Armitage) to explain himself.

The PCP handled the delightfully light-hearted play with their usual aplomb. Written by Matthew K. Begbie, the story takes place in a fashionable apartment in New York City in the 1940's, and revolves around two overworked maids (Holly Richardson and Heather White) coping with the sudden appearance of a long-lost brother, an overbearing mother and her self-indulgent young son and a number of misunderstandings and mistaken identities.

Spoiled young Gerald Mallinger (Connor Stephens) fails to impress Bethany (Heather White)

Pontiac2020.ca asked PCP coordinator Greg Graham a few questions about the group.

P2020: How long have the Pontiac Community Players been around and how many plays have they performed?

GG: For at least 20 years, and I'm sure over 20 plays, concerts, musicals and cabarets, including eight plays at Coronation Hall and three Christmas shows alone since I've been involved.

The unsettlingly determined Winnie Cambin (Sydney Cote) creates a new level of complication for assistant Janice (Eva Baldi), Marcy Mallinger (Bonnie Richardson) and her father Charles (Richard Armitage).

P2020: When did you take on the role of coordinator?

GG: After [founder] Joan Conrod decided to move to Ottawa, I wanted to make sure we kept this good thing we had going. So I called a meeting of interested folks, and I've been in this role of coordinator for three or four years now.  We're a very informal group with very few rules - our main goal is to support local English-language theatre and to help make theatre happen!  We've also made some great strategic alliances with groups such as Theatre Wakefield.

The unexpected arrival of enthusiastic travelling salesman James (Greg Graham) proves to be a headache for his sister Sarah (Holly Richardson)
P2020: What makes seeing and supporting community theatre so great?
GG: As I always say, community theatre isn't a cause of healthy communities, it is the result of them.  I love seeing all these amateurs get a chance to use their skills; to improve themselves as actors, directors, and playwrights but also to help our community with all the many, many charities and causes we've supported over the years.

Bossy socialite Marcy Mallinger (Bonnie Richardson) gives orders to her trembling assistant Janice (Eva Baldi)

P2020: What was the best part about putting on Maid to Order?
GG: It was great to get community theatre back into the high school. The PCP started there when it was mostly made up of teachers and retired teachers, but had been absent for many years as the school board had let that infrastructure crumble. It has been great to see it renewed and strengthened and I'm glad to be a part of that.

Hold everything! The play comes to a tumultuous conclusion.
P2020: What is coming up next for PCP?
GG: A farce called The Amorous Ambassador coming to Coronation Hall August 22, 23, 24 and 25th. Then a performance of The Wind in the Willows as a radio play in December.  We are always open to new ideas and shows so long as we have enough volunteers who want to give it a try. 

P2020: Do you need more actors/readers/behind-the-sceners for upcoming productions? How should interested people get in touch?
GG: We always need more volunteers.  Directors for different shows are responsible for selecting actors, but the best way to get 'on their radar' is to either come to our annual planning meeting in January, or drop an email to PontiacCommunityPlayers@gmail.com.  We also have a facebook page.

Deserved applause for everyone including stage hands James Connolly and Georgia Howard, producer Anne Armitage and director Debra Stephens.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Fun for all: new play equipment at Onslow Elementary

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Kate Aley

If you hear a higher pitch of childhood enjoyment coming from the Onslow Elementary School playground at break time, it's probably due to the exciting new playground equipment installed there last week. Pontiac2020.ca asked Home and School committee representative Stacy Johnston for some details.

Pontiac Community Gym hopes to open by end of year

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by: 

Kate Aley

Despite some setbacks and delays, work continues on the building on Clarendon Street that will house the Pontiac Community Gym. Coordinator Rachelle Dinelle gave Pontiac2020.ca an update.

Dedicated volunteer recognized with Governor General's medal

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by: 

Kate Aley

Luskville's Hélène Belisle (above) has been an extraordinary force for good in the Pontiac for decades. She has served as councilor for the Municipality of Pontiac, as a school board commissioner for the Commission scolaire des portages-de-l'Outaouais (CSPO), instigated and still facilitates the breakfast club at Notre Dame-de-la-Joie in Luskville, all while operating her own small business, Salon Chez Hélène. On September 11, Belisle was awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians through the office of the Governor General of Canada.

Lacing up for the 2018 Terry Fox Run

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Kate Aley

September brings many things, among them cooler weather, fall fairs and the Terry Fox Run.

Regional coordinater John Petty is once again chasing the elusive goal of having 200 participants at this years run on Sunday, September 16.

Petty, along with his late wife Betty and legendary friend Rick Valin, has been facilitating the run practically since there was one.

The story of a story teller: the Joan Finnigan musical

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Kate Aley

Joan Finnigan, daughter of Shawville's Frank Finnigan, poet and author of 28 books, died in 2007. Now her legendary stories of life in the Ottawa Valley are brought to life in I Come From the Valley, a new musical by Stone Fence Theatre.

The cast of I Come From the Valley: standing from left, Phil Goden, Luna Nordholdt, Nigel Epps and Jocelyn Smith. Fran Pinkerton, seated, plays Joan Finnigan. Photo courtesy Stone Fence Theatre.

Exhibit featuring close-up paintings of Gatineau Park

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In collaboration with painter Ruby Ewen, we have organised an exhibit featuring close-up paintings of Gatineau Park!

Visiting the exhibit is free and, if you buy a painting, 50% of the proceeds will go to our Cameron-Purenne fund for research with which we fund scientific research in or about the Park!

Come and see these beautiful paintings inspired by our Park!

Where? At the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre.
When? During the Visitor Centre opening hours.

Exposition de peintures présentant le parc de la Gatineau en gros plans

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En collaboration avec l'artiste Ruby Ewen, nous avons mis sur pied une exposition de peintures présentant le parc de la Gatineau en gros plans!

Visiter l'exposition est gratuit et si vous achetez une peinture, 50% des revenues iront à notre fonds Cameron-Purenne avec lequel nous finançons des projets de recherche scientifique dans le Parc ou à propos du Parc!

Venez voir ces belles peintures inspirées par notre parc!

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