Happy International Women’s Day 2021

Today, we recommit to equity for women and elevating the presence and influence of marginalized women. Women are the backbone of arts and culture as storytellers, artists, musicians, directors, choreographers, dancers, administrators and leaders.
A number of women keep the Massey Theatre and Anvil Centre Theatre vibrant and energized. These women work to plan programming and activate the facilities, manage the finances, network and promote our contributions while lifting up and elevating artistic and community organizations. They are mothers, community champions and connectors. They keep us moving forward every day as we move through these challenging times.
Executive Director Jessica Schneider is a powerful voice in B.C.’s artistic sector and has dedicated fifteen years seeing to it that Massey Theatre will have a vibrant and meaningful future. Jessica shapes the vision for our artistic programs, directs the staff and programming teams, writes the funding proposals and oversees the financial management of the Society.
Minna Nikula has been the Administrator for the Massey for twenty years. She supports and coordinates the theatre’s rentals while holding the administrative portfolio for the whole organization.
Erin Jeffery is charged with promoting the artistic offerings, making community connections and raising the profile of the Massey Theatre to keep the interest flowing in.
Andree St. Martin oversees our visual arts program in the Plaskett Gallery. Andree supports artists by connecting them to this key exhibition space and connecting visitors to their art.
Women are huge contributors to volunteerism historically and currently. Naturally, volunteers also fuel the Massey Society’s efforts. Board President Lynn Radbourne leads the Board of Directors having stepped into this leadership role which has also been held by past Board Presidents Anne Wilson Unger and Helen Sparkes.
City of New Westminster Councilor Mary Trentadue has been a determined advocate for the Massey Theatre and the arts in general in New Westminster. Mary has invested countless hours bridging our efforts with local government plans for the better outcome.
The impact of these community leaders is immesurable. We thank and appreciate them. But this story is not unique. All over the world women are creating and stewarding important assets, programs and activities that benefit our world. Thank the women in your life today. Happy International Women’s Day 2021!
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Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday

A day when community, business and more give back to not for profits and charities. This year, we’re asking for your support. We are fundraising for a bright Massey future. A future that is bright with more spaces to engage the community and the arts. Space to grow and learn. Space to heal.

These past eight months have been challenging for everyone. We at the Massey Theatre have missed the thousands of people in our audiences and on our stages that we would usually see. We have been lucky enough to be able to safely present exclusive performances, host live streamed events and work with local artists and community members to provide access to performing arts and events safely.
Over these past eight months at the Anvil and Massey theatres combined, we have safely held 42 live performances, live streamed 17 performances, welcomed over 1100 guests through our theatres and gallery and have employed 140 artists.
More than numbers of jobs made possible for artists and technicians, we were able to provide moments of connection for community members. Connections that have been hard to access for many for the past eight months.
As the completion of NWSS nears the finish line, we look ahead to a reimagined Massey Theatre and surrounding spaces. A space that we look forward to engaging in with artists and innovators, event producers and community members and more. That space will require funds from a variety of sources, from government to foundation to the community that we love.
Share our commitment to a vibrant Massey future, and consider giving a donation to the Massey Theatre Society for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, or consider purchasing a gift certificate for a future event. The gift of community connection is one that heals…something we all desperately need right now.
The show will go on.
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A bit about us and Uptown Live

We were thrilled to be able to host Uptown Live 2020 back in August. Each of the full concert performances are available on their website if you are interested in checking them out.

Our Executive Director Jessica Schneider did a short video with the event producers that showcases our space, our incredible artists and partners and the Uptown New West neighbourhood that we are so proud to be part of.


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We want to hear from you!

We’re missing all the artists, community activators, producers and audience members that come through our doors every day, sharing experiences, thoughts and joy in our space. We know that we’ll all be able to be together again eventually, but we’re adapting so we can still engage our audiences and support the people who create and produce on our stage.

We’ve begun programming small activities in our spaces as well as working with local producers on the filming of events that will be live-streamed. However, we want to ensure that we are providing and supporting what the audience and community wants.

We’ve collaborated with the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance on a short survey for our patrons, partners, artists and collaborators.

The purpose of this survey is to help us and other arts and cultural organizations plan for reopening and to understand your needs as we plan for the future. The survey focuses on your arts and cultural activities and how you feel about options for a safe return to these activities.

Your responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. You will not be asked for your name, contact details, or any other information that could identify you. Only aggregated data will be publicly disclosed.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how you want to experience arts, events and programming at Massey Theatre. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon in an environment where we can collectively enjoy the magic of the performing arts and community.

To fill out the survey, click on this LINK

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email us at info@masseytheatre.com!

There is also a similar survey running for the Anvil Centre Theatre if you’d like to fill that out as well.

This is #JustAnIntermission

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Reflections on Pride from Allan Morgan

We’ve had the honour and pleasure of working with the incredible Allan Morgan for over a year…a relationship which we hope continues forever. As we enter a completely different New West Pride week, Allan had some reflections on Pride and how his relationship to it has changed.

He did an amazing recording of the piece which we are happy to share with you, in addition to the script.

We hope it moves you as much as it did us.

Happy Pride New West.

Whenever I go for a drive or a trip with a friend I enjoy following along on a map. Not necessarily navigating, but wanting a visual narrative perhaps to help me understand where we’re at.

I think it is much the same with life. As I get older I look back on this map of my life thus far and of the story which I have created that goes along with it. The path to Pride both personally as a gay man, and as a gay man in a community seeking radical liberation is a big part of my map, my story, my artistry. I write about my sexuality and pride and my life thus far in order to understand it a bit better and to help to shed some of the unwanted baggage gained growing up in a world where gay and proud were not anything to celebrate.

The first political action I ever did as a gay man, a proud gay man, was to march across from the church where Anita Bryant, a right wing Christian heading a campaign to deny rights to gays and lesbians was speaking in Scarborough Ontario when I was living in Toronto in 1976, and like many of us that political activity has never stopped since. How could it stop? Once I had accepted that I was gay, born that way, and that it was an intrinsic part of what makes me human I knew that society’s opinions and laws about homosexuality had to change.

The road to Pride has been long. For every victory there was a setback, for every setback another setback. Google it all. Scroll through year by year, check it out.

We lost a decade and far, far too many friends and lovers and artists and loved ones and brothers and sisters to the last pandemic, HIV- AIDS. We remember them and we lift up their names.

After that storm – eventually the rainbow, and the movement for gay & lesbian civil rights gained momentum here and much of the western world. Rights were enshrined and closet doors closed as community beckoned.

We can now marry and divorce, adopt and foster children and live our lives as full citizens in many countries of the world as a direct result of the hard work and bravery and conviction of so many who knew we were right and that more love is never a bad legacy. I am proud of these achievements and happy to experience the profound sea–change in the public perception of who we are.

Although Gay pride has become huge and ubiquitous with a season of gay prides in various cities throughout the world, our country and our province, I consider it an important and essential celebration. Well, I used to.

A few years ago cracks started to appear in the wall of Pride. Discussions and conversations began to appear, questions of who should be involved in our celebrations. At the pride parade in Toronto a few years back Black Lives Toronto stopped the parade with a counter protest.
A demonstration by mostly black women protesting the racism and exclusion of Pride and the parade, as well as the presence of the police in the parade.

That demonstration engendered a conversation not only within our community but across the country. Like many of us I had a firm narrative of Pride – the story I told over and over again about the events and politics that happened and how we got here from there and some fairly firm opinions about inclusion in our celebrations and, like many also felt my activism gave me a stake in these decisions and licence to opine about them.

Last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an event generally described as the beginning of Gay Liberation. As I read literature about the riots I began to realize that my story of Pride and our journey was incomplete, white washed. The role of black transgender women at Ground Zero of Stonewall was indisputable and indelible. I made edits to my map and began to look for more.

Which brings us to now. 2020. The year everything changed, the year of the pandemic.

As it was unknown territory there are no maps, nothing to assist us in navigating our way in a world unknown to us.

For many of us there was no work, we were to stay at home, wash our hands frequently, wear gloves, masks, not venture out trying to flatten a curve so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system and to protect those vulnerable among us. In one of the greatest act of solidarity and love in human history we did just that.

It became our new reality and the combination of no work amidst an event unprecedented in our lives we had time to think ( and bake bread, sew masks, spend quality time with our families, help neighbours and bang pots of thanks for those in harm’s way.)

We also became very aware at this time of the huge inequities in our society of the path walked by black, indigenous and people of colour as opposed to our own path. Here in Canada the need for reconciliation with the original indigenous Sovereign Nations whose land our ancestors appropriated from them with no recompense, grew bigger. Black lives matter both in the United States and here took to the streets to shout their outrage at the continuing systemic racism, and at the continued murders of black citizens by the police.

Cracks in the narrative now seemed to be happening everywhere, not just to Pride, but societaly as well.

We worried that the whole thing might collapse, but as Leonard Cohen says in his song ” Anthem” the cracks are where the light gets in.
Pride 2020 for the most part is a virtual celebration meaning that there are no huge parades,no blocks long shutdown as we have in New Westminster, no coming together in person because of the virus. So we have watched online celebrations and activism around the world. We have been able to see more clearly I think the plight of so many in our community around the world.

Personally I came to understand that my narrative, my map needed to be rethought, redrawn and retold. That liberation meant liberation for all, not just some of us. I also came to understand that there is much reading and listening and hearing and questions that need to be asked by us, that there is much work to do to be as inclusive as we can be, to help give ownership to others in the movement that have fought racism and hate and deserve to have their say in helping to move us all forward.

The future Has no map. We have to draw it. I don’t know where we go or how we get there oh, but I do know that my sense of “we” is different now. It has grown. We is now bigger, more diverse, more inclusive, more colourful and more powerful. That fuller definition of ” we” will be even more unstoppable and more undeniable. Within that “we” are many new leaders and people of vision who will take different roads different routes and I for one am looking forward to that adventure.

Happy Pride to everyone of you Beautiful Creatures, wherever you are on the gender River, and to all of us in our sexualities and our queerness and our colours, and to all of our allies that march with us.

Let’s put our maps together and find a new route, but let’s keep moving forward. That’s the only path that really matters.


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Plaskett Gallery: Art from Apart

As a first step in re-opening the Massey to public activity, the Plaskett Gallery will be opened on a by-appointment basis. In order to maintain pandemic health and safety measures while maximizing the number of people able to experience the program.

You may now book 30 minute visits at the Plaskett Gallery with your bubble! Book conveniently ONLINE or by phoning our box office at 604.521.5050

Visits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed at a time. Your party will be asked to state that you have assessed yourself for Covid 19 symptoms before entering. You will all be required to provide contact information for the purposes of contact tracing by the government if that is needed for any reason.

The current exhibit open for viewing is Liminal Space

Liminal Space is where transformation takes place.

It is the time between what was and what will be next. When one has the potential to act, but has not yet done so.

This process of waiting, not knowing what will become, is part of the process that we must patiently embrace – letting it form us.

This state of mind inspired the pieces in this collection.  It chronicles the journey from the first steps to the other side, a new beginning…the anticipation of what is to come.

Show runs from June 9-June 30 Tuesday to Saturday from 1-5 pm by appointment only.


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Our commitment to do more

Participation in the arts is dominated by communities who have historically received access and inclusion. The Massey Theatre is committed to increasing access and inclusion for Black community members and artists.

Seeing one’s self reflected in art, in story, in music; being empowered and applauded, particularly for youth and children, builds an important sense of belonging and of being valued.

Currently, violent acts against Black bodies circulate and dominate our view. In response, we offer the use of our physical and human resources to Black community members. Strengthen yourselves and these global social movements with these supports. Facilitate, connect, restore, speak your truths and be heard, we will assist you.

This week we are reengaging with members of BC’s Black artistic community to co-create opportunities which elevate Black voices and inter-connect communities. We invite Black community members and organizations to feed and inform this programming and we call on the community at large to learn and take action toward social change.

Please contact jessica@masseytheatre.com if you wish to be involved in supporting or developing these activities or if you have any questions or concerns.

Black Canadian artists embody the resilience and achievements of their ancestors, survivors of a brutal legacy and their work offers valuable perspectives. This collection of National Film Board of Canada films by award winning Black filmmakers, creators and allies is a mere tip of the iceberg of work created by Black artists in Canada. We invite you to watch and learn.

La participation aux arts est dominée par des communautés qui ont toujours bénéficié de l’accès et de l’inclusion. Le Massey Theatre s’est engagé à accroître l’accès et l’inclusion des membres de la communauté noire et des artistes.
Se voir refléter dans l’art, dans l’histoire, dans la musique; être responsabilisé et applaudi, en particulier pour les jeunes et les enfants, crée un sentiment d’appartenance et valorisation.
Actuellement, les actes de violence contre les personnes noirs circulent et dominent notre point de vue. En réponse, nous proposons l’utilisation de nos ressources physiques et humaines aux membres de la communauté noire. Renforcez-vous et renforcez ces mouvements sociaux et mondiaux avec du soutien. Facilitez, connectez, restaurez, expressez-vous, faire entendre votre voix, nous vous assisterons.
Cette semaine, nous nous engageons à nouveau avec des membres de la communauté artistique noire de la Colombie-Britannique pour créer des possibilités qui élèvent les voix noires et inter-connectent les communautés. Nous invitons les membres et les organisations de la communauté noire à alimenter et informer cette programmation et nous appelons la communauté dans son ensemble à apprendre et à agir pour le changement social.
Veuillez contacter jessica@masseytheatre.com si vous souhaitez participer au soutien ou au développement de ces activités ou si vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations.
Les artistes canadiens et canadiennes noirs incarnent la résilience et les réalisations de leurs ancêtres, survivants d’un héritage brutal et leur travail offrent de précieuses perspectives. Cette collection de films de l’Office nationale du film du Canada de cinéastes, créateurs et alliés noirs primés n’est qu’une partie de l’iceberg du travail créé par des artistes noirs au Canada. Nous vous invitons à regarder et à apprendre.
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Giving Tuesday: Royal City Musical Theatre

Giving Tuesday Now is May 5th. A day when Canadians are encouraged to give to their favourite charitable organizations. A day that highlights both the generosity of people and the powerful work and needs of incredible organizations across the nation.

Usually charitable organizations highlight the work they do and the challenges they are facing to ask for donations.  Although Massey Theatre Society is a charitable organization, we have chosen not to do that.

Of course the theatre is going through challenging times this year.  But this Giving Tuesday, we encourage you to give to Royal City Musical Theatre Society.

For three of the theatre’s six decades, April has been a month of exceptional musical theatre at the Massey Theatre. Community members and professional artists have joined forces for over thirty years to lift spirits to astronomical heights with sound, movement, spirit and song. Our theatre was filled with audiences, appreciators and artists. Each one of those hundreds of performances ended with thunderous applause and folks leaping to their feet. All because of Royal City Musical Theatre.

This April, all was dark. Absolute silence and stillness descended on our beloved theatre. A beating heart of our community paused.

For 30 magical years, they have brought Broadway to New Westminster. And like Broadway, this year, the show couldn’t go on. The production was cancelled after the budget was spent, only two weeks before the show was to load into the theatre and begin its ascent to the public performances.

Theatre companies like Royal City Musical Theatre rely on ticket sales to produce their shows. Without those ticket sales, their future is on the line.

Your donation on Giving Tuesday will help RCMT resolve the huge financial impacts of cancelling the production. It will help them begin to envision going on in the future and returning to production as soon as that is conceivable.

Giving to RCMT will bring back those magical and exceptional nights on the Massey stage. Nights when the restaurants are packed before the show and the streets are filled with local and visiting families and friends strolling to the theatre for one of the best nights out of the year, every year.

Please consider giving your tax deductible Giving Tuesday donation to Royal City Musical Theatre.  Donations can be made online, by mail to Royal City Musical Theatre Society c/o Massey Theatre 735 8th Ave, New Westminster, BC V3M 2R2, by email at donations@royalcitymusicaltheatre.com or over the phone by calling the Massey Theatre Box office at 604.521.5050.

The show must go on.

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Queerly Canadian: A Play Reading Series

As part of the Under the Rainbow LGBTQ2+ programming at Massey Theatre, we are presenting a series of play readings of fantastic Canadian Plays. These plays have been curated by our artist in residence Allan Morgan and Roy Surette, Artistic Director for Touchstone Theatre.

All plays will be presented as staged readings, performed by professional actors. Plays contain mature content and may not be suitable for young audiences.

FREE and welcoming and accessible for all!

Hosanna by Michel Tremblay
January 20, 2020 @ 7:30 pm Plaskett Gallery

The heart-rending and often hilarious Hosanna by seminal French Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay shines light on the fear of change, identity, and the reluctance to release the illusion of self. Aging drag queen Hosanna, a man wanting to be a woman, wanting to be Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, with her live-in partner Curiette, a going-to-seed leather stud, faces a Halloween night feeling like an outsider in her own skin.

Hosanna, was first performed in French at Théâtre de Quat’Sous in 1973 and in English at Toronto’s Tarragon in 1974 and is set in an exotic world of nightclubs and gay bars on the main of Montreal in the seventies. Written during the social and political tumult of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, Tremblay’s political allegory about the authenticity of self resonates just as much today.

This reading of Hosanna is a features the actors from the recent UBC Theatre presentation, Frank Zotter and Joey Lespérance and is directed by Stephen Heatley. Translated by Bill Glassco and John Van Burek.

Lilies by Michel Marc Bouchard
April 8, 2020 @ 7:30 pm Plaskett Gallery

The play is set in 1952 in the church of a prison where it has been arranged that the jailed Simon Doucet will make confession to his old friend Bishop Bilodeau The play’s English translation by Linda Gaboriau was published in 1991.

This reading will feature members of the cast from the Jessie Award winning joint production of Touchstone, Arts Club and Pi Theatres, including Allan Morgan.

Swollen Tongues by Kathleen Oliver
June 8, 2020 @ 7:30 pm Plaskett Gallery
Written entirely in rhyming couplets, Swollen Tongues is a contemporary take on Restoration comedy – with a twist!

Thomas and his sister, Catherine, are both instructed in the powers of poetry by Dr. Wise. While Thomas is more prolific than skilled in his praise of his beloved Sonja, Catherine is strangely mute. The problem? Catherine is in love with Sonja too, and has taken the liberty of effectively improving her brother’s verses and giving them to Sonja under an assumed name, Overripe. When Thomas discovers that he has been plagiarized, Dr. Wise suggests a challenge of poetic skill. The ensuing flurry of disguises, tricks, and revelations includes a visit to Sapphic hideaway, closer to home than anyone might have imagined. Here, the characters discover that no one is without secrets, and that poetry can unlock the door to love in unexpected ways.

Massey Theatre is a safe space for LBGT2+ people and allies where we promote the notions of love, mutual consent, empathy and understanding. Homophobia, transphobia, sexism, any type of bigotry or violent conduct will not be tolerated. Don’t hesitate to approach us if anything should alert your concern.

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Under the Rainbow: A year of LGBTQ2+ programming

The arts bring community together. Through shared experiences, stories and space. This season, we’re introducting ‘Under the Rainbow’, a series of community events, programs, shows and more celebrating expression, identity, and connection, with a particular focus on LGBTQ2+ stories and artists.

A featured component of this programming is the participation of our artist in residence Allan Morgan.

Massey Theatre is proud to welcome veteran Canadian actor, and more recently playwright Allan Morgan as our 2019-2020 Artist-in-Residence. As part of our Under the Rainbow series, Allan will be developing and leading a number of events and programs, including a run of his solo play “Pride: for the young gay, the un-gay, and the jaded queen in all of us,” a storytelling program for gay seniors, a play reading series, and more. Allan will also be writing a blog for the Massey website about his residency, and will be present at the Theatre throughout the year to work on new projects and get the community excited about arts and Pride.

Here’s a teaser of some of the programming coming Under the Rainbow


September 20th -September 22nd
Pride-For the young gay, the un-gay and the jaded queen in all of us- writtten and performed by Allan Morgan on the Massey Theatre stage
September 28th to November 30th
Let me Tell you a Story Nobody Ever Told to Me- Gay Seniors project in the Plaskett Gallery
October 19th
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Movie: Drag Queen Singalong in the Massey Theatre
October 20th
The Flame NW the LGBTQ2+ edition- Plaskett Gallery
October 28th 
Colette-Last Monday at the Movies with the Arts Council of New Westminster in the Massey Theatre
November 1st to 30th
Love Out Love Exhibition in the Plaskett Gallery
November 30th
Gay Seniors Project Sharing & Celebration in the Massey Theatre


January 11th
Fire Song- Award winning contemporary film from indigenous film maker Adam Garnet Jones in the Massey Theatre
January 20th
Play Reading in the Massey Theatre
February 14th
The Wiard of Oz the Movie: Drag Queen Singalong in the Massey Theatre
February 15th
Rainbow Families Family Day Gathering-activities and performances in Massey Theatre and Plaskett Gallery
February 24th
Rafiki-Last Monday at the Movies with the Arts Council of New Westminster in the Massey Theatre
March 13th and 14th
New Performance showcase in the Massey Theatre
March 14th
Dance Party in the Massey Theatre
April 6th
Play Reading in the Massey Theatre
May 1st and 2nd
Hot Brown Honey in the Massey Theatre
June 8th
Play Reading in the Massey Theatre

Want to be kept up to date on Under the Rainbow and other programming? Email us and we’ll keep you in the know.

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