It’s time for a show of appreciation

These really are unprecedented times.  Times of great loss and lack of connection with friends, loved ones and community.

It’s hard.  For everyone. Some of life’s luster is definitely missing.

We’ve been witnessing the difficult work of healthcare and frontline workers (teachers, administrators and support staff, police officers, firefighters, retail workers, hospitality staff, delivery people, grocery clerks, and more), you know who you are!

For two years now they have given of themselves more than they knew they could. And it isn’t over yet. Our community members in the performing arts have lost work, motivation and wellbeing by not being able to practice, perform and bring art to everyday life.

To these amazing individuals, we offer a giant THANK YOU. We appreciate you and see you.

From Jan. 20 – February 3, we’re offering Healthcare and Frontline workers and Performing Arts Workers and Artists 50% off tickets to see The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Noises Off at Massey Theatre running from February 15-27.

It is a show filled with laughter, lightness and energy and is sure to bring a spark of joy and that feeling of celebration we need.

We all need connection. While we can’t gather in all the ways that we may want to, we can celebrate through the shared experience of the arts.

Frontline workers can get tickets for 50% off using the code FRONTLINE at point of purchase

Performing arts workers can get tickets for 50% off using the code PERFORMINGARTS at point of purchase

Spread the word. Share with your friends and loved ones in these industries. Perhaps buy them tickets so you can all go to the show.  Together.

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Giving Tuesday 2021

Today is Giving Tuesday

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “Opening day of the giving season’ when charities, business and individuals come together to celebrate giving as a community

And community is who we are.

Having the audiences return over the past few months has been magical. We’ve safely held live performances, rehearsals, meetings and more in our space and launched our most ambitious presentation season ever including a full professional run of the Arts Club Theatre’s production of Noises Off. Moments of connection and joy for audiences and community members, and a return to creation and employment for artists and technicians.

We are proud to be playing such a huge part of the recovery of the arts in British Columbia.

In addition to welcoming back audiences and creators in our space, we moved into a new era for the Massey Theatre and ancillary spaces with the transfer of ownership of our building to the City of New Westminster.  This has triggered an incredible partnership that promises to impact the community greatly over the coming years, and the expansion of the venue has created Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces. These spaces will make a significant contribution to arts in the region, providing a new home and infrastructure for the arts of the future.  There is much work to be done, and this work requires funding.

Funding for renovations, artist fees, upgrades of equipment, new state of the art digital production equipment, training, programming, outreach and more.

Our goals are high, but necessary and ones that we’re committed to hitting.

As we kick off giving season and our donation drive, please consider supporting us this Giving Tuesday with a tax deductible donation. This Giving Tuesday, Canada Helps will be adding $2 to every donation over $20. If we recieve 100 donations over $20, that means an extra $200.  $200 that could go to artist fees for programming to marginalized youth.  $200 that can provide access to the arts for seniors.  $200 towards the arts centre of our future.

Support us in our commitment to a vibrant future and consider giving a donation to the Massey Theatre Society from yourself, your business or in the name of a loved one.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the love and support you’ve given to Massey Theatre. We do this with you and for you, and if you have the means, we hope you’ll share with us, or share our message.

Donate here.

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New Programming Leadership Announced for Massey Theatre Society

The Massey Theatre Society has hired two acclaimed arts leaders to join the staff team for Massey Theatre, Anvil Centre Theatre and Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces. These new hires are filling the roles of Programming Director and Performing Arts Programming Coordinator.

Jillian Christmas will be the new Programming Director. Jillian is a queer, Afro-Caribbean writer who worked as long-time spoken word coordinator at the Vancouver International Writers Fest. She has built a vibrant legacy of arts-organizing and curation, including six fruitful seasons as former Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of Words, as well as serving as a founding member and People and Talent Coordinator for Bakau Consulting’s (formerly Cicely Blain Consulting) acclaimed Stratagem conferences. Her organizing work focuses on a desire and duty to uplift underrepresented voices and distribute resources into marginalized and underserved communities. These talents and abilities will be activated towards the expanded creative facilities, uplifting community through the arts.

The Performing Arts Programming Coordinator position will be filled by Fleur Sweetman. Fleur worked as long time General Manager for both Turning Point Ensemble and Vancouver Pro Musica. A trained oboist holding her Masters of Music Performance from UBC, Fleur has an intimate connection and knowledge of the classical and contemporary music communities which will allow her to build local capacity and develop new relationships in the performing arts. She’s also an experienced community programmer and activator having worked at Place Des Arts as Fine and Performing Arts Programmer.

‘We are truly proud to have attracted these two phenomenal individuals. The support of a Pivot Grant from BC Arts Council allowed us to work with programming consultant Gary Cristall to review our needs and support us in our search.  These roles and the increased capacity they bring  are vital as we expand the Massey Theatre, Anvil Centre Theatre and Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces programs and relationships,” said Jessica Schneider, Executive Director, Massey Theatre Society, “As our capacity grows, so does our ability to serve and inspire the community and provide a home for people to create, celebrate and connect.”

The pair join Schneider, Indigenous Cultural Development Director Ronnie Dean Harris and the Operational Leadership Team as key voices in resourcing and guiding the artistic, social and cultural contributions of the Society.

As the summer continues, activities will continue with the Open Space Saturday series and planning for reopening the facilities to audiences. Schneider promises further announcements about public and artistic programs, staffing and more.

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Open Space Saturdays

Summer is a time for relaxation and celebration. And often in New Westminster, a time filled with incredible community festivals. Many of these festivals won’t be able to happen this year.

We present Open Space Saturdays. An outdoor arts and community space activating the outdoor areas around Massey Theatre.

The program has been designed by our Indigenous Cultural Development Director Ronnie Dean Harris who, together with the whole Massey team and Community Partners, will develop a casual, eclectic program for all ages filled with arts, artisans, food and most of all fun.

Open Space Saturdays will run every summer Saturday from 11am to 10pm with programs for all ages starting July 10th.

On Site Activities may include:

  • Indigenous and cultural arts and crafts
  • Visual Arts and Video projections
  • Literary Arts
  • Dance, Music and Movement sessions
  • Children’s Activities
  • Outdoor Mainstage Performances
  • Storytelling
  • Arts and Artisan Market
  • And more…

On Site Food and Beverage options may include:

  • Rotating Food Trucks
  • Community Food activations

Special pop-up events such as plant sales, seed exchange, positive advocacy, food, dialogue and other community priorities will be incorporated through partnerships with community organizations and groups.

Community groups are encouraged and welcomed to think about getting involved and thinking of good ways of being together in small groups and activities.

This is a time to heal and celebrate together safely and supportively. Open Space is the place to do it.

Interested in becoming involved or putting forward an actvity? Please contact Ronnie at

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Massey Theatre 2021/2022 Season

We are more than excited. We are overjoyed to be able to announce that the theatre will be opening its doors this fall with a dynamic season!  As the Province  reopens in a safe and responsible way, audiences will be welcomed to the theatre to come and enjoy theatrical performances, as they are meant to be. Live and in person

The Massey Theatre season reflects the diverse lenses and interests of the community with a variety of exceptional performances. Included are iconic musical performers of contemporary Indigenous, pop, folk, rock and guitar jazz. The range of artists is incredible-from Martha Wainwright to Bill Henderson to International Guitar Night.   Folk rock powerhouse band The Fugitives explore the realities and lore of Vimy Ridge in a multi-disciplinary concert with the dancers of Ballet BC and spoken word of Brendan McLeod. Musical artist and storyteller, iskwē, shares her impactful artistry with music, movement, images, poetry and prose.

The return season also promises to brighten our hearts with laughter.  Comedy will take centre stage with the former “This Hour has 22 Minutes” star Shaun Majumder and  his new show, The LOVE tour. A special two week run of Arts Club Theatre Company’s hit show Noises Off offers one of the largest and most fun productions we will see in the coming season. Massey Theatre has been working with Arts Club for over a year to bring back the 2020 hit to delight audiences in the way only live theatre can do.

Here is the list of the seasons’ performances:

Nov. 16, 2021
Martha Wainwright
Love Will Be Reborn
Martha Wainwright is beginning again. The beguiling performer and songwriter graces the Massey stage as part of the tour of her new album Love Will Be Reborn. Wainwright’s fifth studio album follows recent years of loneliness and clarity in search of optimism and joy. PRESALE for this show starts June 10, sale for general public on June 11

November 2021
Bill Henderson, Solo Tour
In his solo tour, Canadian Rock Icon Bill Henderson of Chilliwack takes the stage like the legend he is.  Guitar at the ready. Iconic voice filling the theatre. For those of you who are ready to revisit Henderson’s distinct style of rock…the Massey is ready for you. Tickets on sale soon

January 28, 2022
International Guitar Night 2022
The always exceptional International Guitar Night returns to the Massey Theatre with a dynamic and eclectic lineup of international acoustic guitarists. The next tour features: Lulo Reinhardt, Germany’s Latin Swing master, contemporary classical guitarist Stephanie Jones from Australia, two-hand “tapper” Alexandr Misko from Russia, and Italian jazz guitarist and vocalist Eleanora “Lele” Strino. This show is a celebration of guitar music for new beginnings. Tickets on sale now.

Feb 3, 2022
Shaun Majumder The LOVE Tour
In 2019, beloved comedian and performer Shaun Majumder brought his complex tour de force HATE to Massey Theatre, much of it in response to living amid rampant Trumpism and the rise of hate he was witnessing in the US and Canada. Now, the new dad flips the narrative in with his new show LOVE. Majumder is an absolute comedy star, riveting and hilarious. This show is co-presented with Laughter Zone 101. Tickets on sale now.

February 15-27, 2022
Arts Club Theatre Company’s Noises Off by Michael Frayn
The pre-pandemic hit show is being remounted on the Massey Stage. Noises Off, hailed as the funniest farce ever written, treats audiences to a hilarious peek at a second-tier acting troupe performing a show. With egos, insecurities, and tempers flaring backstage—and forgotten lines, missed cues, and misplaced sardines onstage—this cast threatens to strike the old adage “the show must go on.” Michael Frayn’s dizzying play-within-a-play classic is sure to leave you doubled over with laughter. This is sure to be one of the largest and most fun productions to be staged in the coming season. Tickets on sale now.

March 12, 2022
iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (short for waseskwan iskwew, meaning “blue sky woman”) is, among many other things, an artist – a creator and communicator of music and of movement, of pictures, poetry and prose. And through it all, she’s a teller of stories that have impacted our past and will inform our future. Her solo tour brings timely magic and light to the Massey. Tickets on sale now.

Spring 2022
Over The Ridge
Often called the “battle that made Canada,” Vimy Ridge resulted in over 10,000 Canadian casualties. Through direct storytelling, verbatim theatre, live music and dance, Brendan McLeod, folk rock powerhouse band The Fugitives, choreographer Jacob Williams and the dancers of Ballet BC examine misconceptions, personal accounts by the actual young soldiers from the battle. This multi-disciplinary concert is an emotional, powerful and evocative look at our Nation’s past. Tickets on sale soon

Fall 2022
Hot Brown Honey
Hot Brown Honey, the smash-hit, genre defying, firecracker of a show from Australia, that’s taken the world by storm is coming to the Massey Theatre.
Steeped in the Word of the Mother and packing a potent punch of Hip-Hop Politics, the show is equal parts theatrical masterpiece and social activism with a posse of phenomenal women who smash stereotypes in a celebration of our similarities and differences. From dance to spoken word, hip hop to performance art, Hot Brown Honey will make you laugh until you cry, clap until your hands bleed and shake every part of what your mama gave you. Tickets on sale soon

Ticket are on sale for some of these shows already, so don’t wait to be entertained. Not only will you be supporting the arts and artists, you will lift your spirits with the unique joy that only culture can provide.

All safety protocols will be in place and guidelines followed. Less than 50% of seats are being sold until reopening guidelines are in place for each date.

All shows are presented with support of the City of New Westminster and the Province of British Columbia. Additionally, iskwē and Hot Brown Honey are posted with the support of the Vancouver Foundation.

We can’t wait to welcome you back.

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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!

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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