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Pemberton launches arts series this weekend

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Behrens brings A Fine and Pleasant Misery to St. David’s

I retired from the Arts Council this year after eight years of booking the performance series. Although the children are older, I find just as much time is required around the family and, with my volunteer activities, I just didn't have enough of me to "go around."

During this year's negotiations, however, one or two opportunities arose to present performers in Pemberton as well as Whistler. This gives the performer another date and Pemberton a new opportunity.

Last year we offered a house concert with folk singer Lowry Olafson, which was very successful, and consequently invited the bass baritone, Henri Loiselle to perform at St. David's Church. This evening was most enjoyable and very well attended.

When, therefore, the opportunity to present in Pemberton arose, the Church most generously offered the space and, as we have no "presenting body" here in Pemberton, the performers agreed to come for a split of the door.

This is in one way excellent, but in another, alarming. The performers are all of an extremely high calibre and it is really important that we have a full house to be able to pay them a satisfactory fee. There are only 125 seats, but I am in a high state of anxiety that we fill them.

Pemberton Valley Vineyard and Inn are most kindly providing the accommodation while the performers are in Pemberton and several volunteers are rallying around with suppers for the artists. Whistler Players are lending their lights for the first performance, but future performers are booked on the "there-is-nothing-there – no sound, no lights – can-you-handle-that?" basis.

Two of the presentations before Christmas are also appearing in Whistler, but I do not anticipate this being the norm. I am looking to keep up a few contacts with old friends in the agencies and if they have performers in the area who could use an extra night as a "filler" on our limited terms(!), and I think they are someone that the Pemberton audience would enjoy, we will see if we can come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement.

The first will be A Fine and Pleasant Misery by well known outdoorsman and author Pat McManus. This is the first in a series of plays – the McManus Comedies – performed by veteran actor extraordinaire, Tim Behrens. He is in Whistler Oct. 26, at Millennium Place, and in Pemberton Oct. 27.

The pieces could have been tailor made for Behren and... for our locale. The series of characters he brings to life will remind us all of some of the folks we have met "along the way." His stories of growing up in the backwoods will also strike a chord with those of us who live in the mountains and valleys with their amusing, but potentially dangerous, past-times for children. His stories are hilarious and have a grinding inevitability which grip you until their final, disastrous, moments.

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