Volume 10 Week 10

Sunday, Dec. 14


 

Updated March 2


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

 

 

 

 



(Posted 6:30 p.m., April 18)

Vintage Stock fundraiser celebrates transition form one era to the next
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Emma Taylor-Isherwood models a skating costume once worn by Barbara Ann Scott, while Vintage Stock Theatre Fashion Show organizer Susan Flemming (left) and Vintage Stock president Marni Hunt-Stephens look on. Fred Sherwin/photo


The Vintage Stock Theatre company raised a few dollars to help spruce up their vintage costume collection on Thursday by celebrating the fashion trends of the 1940s while bidding a nostalgic farewell to the Orléans Theatre which will be closing its doors for good next month to make way for the new Shenkman Arts Centre.

The Fashion Show opened with a walk down memory lane as several members of the former Cumberland Town Council who oversaw the construction of the Orléans Client Service Centre in 1989 were called up on the stage.

Many newer residents of Orléans may not realize that the Client Service Centre started out as the Cumberland Town Hall and that the former Cumberland Town Council held their meeings on the Orléans Theatre stage.

Prior to 1989, the council met in the old town hall in Leonard. Former Cumberland mayor and later regional chair Peter Clark led the push for the new building along with former councillors Brian Coburn and Gerry Lalonde who would go one to succeed him as mayor.

The Town Hall became the Orléans Client Service Centre after the former municipalities that made up the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton were amalgamated in 2000.

As a dual purpose facility, the municipal building and the theatre stage that's at its very core has played host to countless productions over the years. Hundreds of Orleans Young Players alumni grew up acting in plays that were performed on the stage. The old East End Theatre company, the Gloucester Music Club, and, of course, Vintage Stock Theatre have also had a close relationship with the cozy 250-seat theatre.

But with the spanking new, 500-seat Shenkman Arts Centre about to open in June, the Orleans Theatre will soon fall silent. So it was with a mix of nostalgia for the old and excitement for the new that the Vintage Stock Theatre celebrated the transition with about 70 of its supporters.

The fashion show took the audience on a walk down memory lane starting with the high hemlines of the roaring '20s; through the austere, conservative and functional '30s; to the 1940s in which designers and manufacturers maintained the austere designs of the '30s in an effort to conserve material during the war effort, but ended with the first sparks of a creative revolution.

The highlight of the evening, besides the myriad of hats designed by Paulette, was a figure skating costume modeled by Emma Taylor-Isherwood that was once worn by figure skating legend Barbara Ann Scott.

A number of local personalities took part in the fashion show, including former Orléans Chamber of Commerce president Judith Cane, Arts Ottawa East executive director Christine Tremblay, Cumberland Ward Coun. Rob Jellett, former 'A' Morning host Karen Soloman, and theatre actress and CBC Ottawa News at Six stand-in weather specialist Teri Rata Loretto whose performance of "Summertime" from the Broadway musical "Porgie and Bess" was the musical highlight of the evening.

The fashion show also included a small army of local actors who've been involved in past productions by Vintage Stock, OYP and ENCORE!, as well as scores of volunteers working behind the scenes all led by event organizer, Vintage Stock's founder and former president, Susan Flemming.

Each donor spent $45 for a ticket to the gala which included a reception and silent auction upstairs complete with gourmet hors d'oeuvres and wine supplied by the Domaine Perrault winery in Navan.

The money raised will go towards rejuvenating and maintaining Vintage Stock Theatre's costume collection, which thanks to the patronage of Dymon Self Storage, is being properly kept for future performances in their facility on Innes Road.

Speaking of future performances, Vintage Stock Theatre is in the early production stages for their upcoming murder mystery dinner theatre presentation of "Murder by Stitches" which will take place on the grounds of the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum on June 20 and 27.

The production is a slight break from tradition in that it is being held in the spring for the first time, rather than late summer. Over the years, Vintage Stock's highly imaginative series of murder mystery dinner productions have become the highlight of the local theatre scene.

For more information about the upcoming production visit www.vintagestock.on.ca.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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