(Posted 6:30 p.m., April 18)
fundraiser celebrates transition form one era to the next
By Fred Sherwin
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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