Red Barn, 2010?

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April 26, 2010: While the past year since the Red Barn burned down has been very challenging for the community, the theatre operators and the property owners, all are excited about the plans for the coming summer.

While the theatre’s operators did not survive the combination of poor economy and temporarily moving the summer’s shows to the Stephen Leacock Theatre in Keswick, the people of Jackson’s Point are excited about providing you a new experiences in the village this coming July.

The Jackson’s Point BIA is the lead organization for a new festival, the Red Barn SummerFest, to take place July 23-25, 2010. It will take place in the Jackson’s Point Parkette and on the Red Barn Festival Grounds, with a variety of music and fun events. This new festival is one of more than a dozen that takes place in Jackson’s Point and nearby areas in the summer. The merchants and volunteers hope that, with this weekend festival, they’ll add one more level of excitement and fun that is a tradition in Jackson’s Point. They invite you to come any time to poke around in the shops, relax by the lake, relax at the restaurants and accommodations.

The SummerFest committee is presenting its plans to the BIA tonight, in the Simcoe Room at the Simcoe Arms pub. We’ll keep you posted on developments! Donations to the Red Barn SummerFest can be written to the Town of Georgina, marked Red Barn SummerFest. The Town will supply tax receipts and will forward the funds to the BIA’s Festival account.

The Briars has also been looking at the future of a building on the site. First step is to repair the Red Barn ruins, a truly enchanting artistic space. These have been wrapped in plastic to help them survive the winter. Repointing and repairs are required before opening to the public.

Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Red Barn Fire Sale

The Red Barn burned down in April, but our fantastic season is still on, REALLY!  Fiona Reid and Jonathan Crombie star in The Glass Menagerie, June 18 to July 4th with the special Fire Sale price of $15 per ticket (except gala night; applies to pre-ordered tickets only). Join us at the Georgina Stephen Leacock Theatre at 130 Gwendolyn Blvd., Keswick, less than 20 minutes from Jackson’s Point.

Spread the word. The Diamond Season is not to be missed!

Published in: on June 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Transforming productions for a new space

This is the first time I have ever written a blog!

The last few weeks have been a very busy time for me and for everyone associated with The Red Barn Theatre.  We were all shocked and devastated by the fire that destroyed the theatre.  It did not destroy our resolve! We have all worked hard to save the season and mount the productions at The Georgina Stephen Leacock Theatre in Keswick and the gala fundraiser at The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.  Our revised brochures are now out and in the mail. Our newly revised web-site will be completed very soon.

The Stephen Leacock Theatre is very different from The Red Barn.  The Red Barn had a very large and deep stage, without a lot of height that was raised approximately four feet, so the audience viewed it from below.  The Leacock is completely different, with a small stage with a semi thrust, a very large back wall and great height.  The audience is raked quite steeply and views the stage from above.

And so both first shows that I am directing, that had been fully designed for The Red Barn stage, have had to be resigned and re-thought for The Leacock.  This process has been demanding, creative and revealing.  The designers have worked very hard and the I look forward to the final result.

Focusing on the first play, The Glass Menagerie , I am doing my directorial preparation for that show.  The most interesting part has been researching the work and life of Tennessee Williams.  His plays, poetry and films are remarkable and understanding his life through biographies and his memoirs has been fascinating. I am delighted to be working with Fiona Reid and Jonathan Crombie, who star in the show.

There is lots to do but I am very excited and I am confident the season will be very compelling and entertaining for our audiences.


Jordy Merkur
Artistic Director
The Red Barn Theatre

The Red Barn Classic Golf Tournie

This tournament will take place on Thursday June 11th, 2009 at 1 p.m.  $200 for non-members, $150 for members; includes: 18 holes w/ cart, lunch, dinner, prizes, surprises & gifts.

Some of the highlights for 2009 include:

*  SIX  (6) golfers will have a chance to win $1 million dollars. One for each decade The Red Barn has been around. Kathy & Gary Foch Prudential are sponsoring this extra special hole-in-one contest.

*  Other hole-in-ones include chances to win a car courtesy of Highland ChevOlds in Aurora, a $5000 shopping spree courtesy of Sobeys in Sutton or a SeaDoo courtesy of Quinn’s  Marine in Pefferlaw.

*  A very tasty cold buffet lunch to be hosted at The Briars Golf Club before tee-off time

*  A delicious dinner following the tournament at The Briars Golf Club.  We will also be hosting a live auction with many new and exciting items during the dinner.

*  Each golfer will receive a Red Barn Theatre golfing umbrella as well as an assortment of other welcome gifts.  You will also receive an additional gift following the tourney based on a raffle system.

*  There will be a number of specialty holes scattered throughout the course where golfers will have the opportunity to partake in beverage tasting and enjoy other treats to tempt both the palate and the eye.

*  All golfers will receive a complimentary Golfers Passport which will enter them in all contests and give each player 3 mulligans.  A $20 value!

As I’m sure you will agree this is not your typical charity golf tournament and it is sure to excite both the experienced and novice golfer alike.

Hole sponsors are invited for $200 which includes a professionally designed sign on the course, mention in the dinner program and in a thank you published in The Georgina Advocate.  Tax receipts are also available on request.

Major Sponsors can contact me to discuss packages available.

Please contact me at: redbarnevents @ rogers . com

Hope to see you there!
Jacie Glionna for The Red Barn Theatre

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Developing a new plan

The ruins were fenced in Friday while waiting for additional information on preserving the stone walls. Proposed is integrating some of the old walls with a beautiful garden to create a new outdoor venue as a piece of the new Red Barn Theatre. Many thanks to Fast Fence for donating the fence rental for the next month.

Long providing a rural arts experience, the family and friends of the Red Barn exploring the ways to make The Red Barn Theatre even more of an unique venue when it is rebuilt. Early concepts for the buildings are being considered, but it is expected that architects will incorporate features like this one with much imagination.

In the meantime, local heritage stone mason Bob Trudell of Norquest Contracting Group spent several hours on the site this past week gathering information. We are also waiting the arrival of a 19th century Ontario barn expert to sort out the variety of masonry and relate it to Dr. Frank Sibbald’s journals from the 1880’s.

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Martels Rock n’ Roll Show and Dance

Presented by York Region Media Group and Kingfest Music
at the Newmarket Community Centre to support The Red Barn Theatre

Get Ready to Dance to Nostalgia!

The Martels Rock n'Roll; click to enlarge

The Martels Rock n'Roll; click to enlarge

May 29 at The Newmarket Community Centre, with the Martels Rock n’ Roll Show & Dance, you are likely to spend the night singing the words to all of your favourite 50’s and 60’s tunes. This 9-piece band packs the dance floor from the moment it starts performing.

Five members of the band have performed together since 1957, when during the early days of the The Martels, the band served as the back up for teen idol Bobby Curtola. Recording and touring took the band on the first cross Canada rock n’ roll tour with stops at Massey Hall, Klondike Days, the Calgary Stampede and the Pacific Exhibition. Back home the band continued to play backing up such stars as Del Shannon (“Runaway”) until the British Invasion took rock n’ roll in a new direction and The Martels eventually disbanded in the late 1960’s.

In 1979 the group reunited for one show and they have been playing together ever since. Over that time, they have evolved into a premier show band.

The May 29 show at the Newmarket Community Centre is dedicated to The Red Barn Theatre, Canada’s longest running professional summer theatre, which was recently destroyed by fire.  Friday May 29th at Newmarket Community Centre, 200 Doug Duncan Drive. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Beer, wine and food will be available. Tickets are $32.50 (tax incl.) and can be purchased online.

Engineer Preview

Michael Tinsdale of GRG Engineering Consultants of Newmarket, a heritage engineer who worked on the Barn previously, walked the site this morning. This is preliminary work in stablizing the walls, to assist in making a decision. Note that additional photos have been added to yesterday’s entry.

Published in: on May 8, 2009 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Foundation walls studied

The Sibbalds accompanied heritage architect Charles Hazell of Taylor Hazell Architects about the foundations today. The site is not safe; please stay out.

The worst of the rubbish was cleared away last week after the fire department and police released the site. In the process, any items Hugh and Peter determined to have interest were removed and stored off-property. Peter took photos of many items in situ before collection. Feeling this was more than a pile of rubble, Peter contacted Charles who is part of the show at Harbourfront with Peter. Interested, Charles offered to look at the site.

Heritage Architect Charles Hazell investigates the south wall of The Red Barn Theatre.

Heritage Architect Charles Hazell investigates the south wall of The Red Barn Theatre.

Charles was impressed. The silo is currently stable; part of the barn foundation must be filled in to support it. The walls are crumbling quickly. With no downward pressure, the mortar damaged and the walls being exposed to the elements, preservation needs quick action. For example, the 19th century walls (mortar on the outside, stone inside) would need to be pressure filled with mortar to hold them together, then capped to keep out the rain and snow.

The foundation cannot be used to support new construction, but could be a “ruin” that can be incorporated as a feature into future building or complex.

A burnt theatre manual found in the foundations.

A burnt theatre manual found among the foundations.


Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 11:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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Restoration-Conservation Work

Peter Sibbald has been able to have a restoration/conservation architect come to the Red Barn site today to review the remaining foundation. He will determine if the foundation should or could be preserved. The architect will immediately need photos of the Barn in his work.

Of particular need is photos of the Green Room wing, the Coop, the other office spaces, the inside of the “auditotium” or the basement. External photos and lobby photos we have. Should you have any of these, please leave a mesage here and I can respond to you directly and let you send me the photos.


Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 9:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Press Release: The Show Must Go On for Diamond Anniversary Season

Jackson’s Point, Ontario –

On April 18, 2009, Canada’s Longest Running Professional Summer Theatre became a pile of ashes as the historic Red Barn succumbed to a devastating fire.

The tributes continue to pour in from across Canada, recognizing The Red Barn Theatre’s remarkable contribution to the arts in Canada and expressing a strong desire that our 2009 Season go ahead as planned. And so, in true theatrical fashion, we are doing just that. (more…)

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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