Destination Mainstage

Comedy and Tragedy masks, with text: mainstage, theatreBC Come Play with Us! Annual Provincial Theatre FestivalAnnual Provincial Theatre Festival Chilliwack July 2 – 9, 2016

MAINSTAGE is the Annual Provincial Theatre Festival for community theatre groups throughout BC. Sponsored by Theatre BC, it is one of the longest-running theatre traditions in Canada. This exciting event is the culmination of winning plays from Theatre BC Zone Festivals involving up to 10 Zones throughout the Province of BC. More than 60 community theatre clubs participate in Zone Festivals held in April and May, with hopes riding on the chance to take their winning play to MAINSTAGE for friendly competition with the province’s best.

For 2016, MAINSTAGE will be held at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Your participation and support of this event is vital to the success of the Festival. Any contribution, large or small, will be gratefully accepted. Besides corporate and individual sponsorship of the event, there are 16 bronze trophies known as “Thespians” (original artworks created by world-famous Kelowna sculptor Gert Maas) available for sponsorship, plus donation of merchandise/services required for the “silent auction” fundraising event. Corporate partners can provide support by becoming an event or performance sponsor.

There are a variety of registration packages. Full week passes will include tickets to all Mainstage plays, Workshop plays, Green Room Parties (after evening performance socials), and morning Coffee Critiques. 3 Day passes and individual night tickets are also available.


From year to year over its history, MAINSTAGE has adopted many and varied theatre activities that developed into regular festival components. Combined, these set a unique atmosphere that provides for educational as well as entertainment opportunities that registrants and audience members simply do not have access to elsewhere.

Key Mainstage Presentations

Mainstage Performances: The invigorating competition of plays selected from the Zone Festivals held in the ten TBC Zones around the province is the centrepiece of MAINSTAGE. Each evening performance is followed by a brief public adjudication by the professional festival adjudicator. The following morning, each Mainstage presentation is discussed in-depth by cast, crew, adjudicator and registrants in a “Coffee Critique.” Open to registrants and public.

“Backstage At Mainstage” Courses: A series of performing arts workshops, instructed by professionals, are scheduled throughout the week (daytime). Running in 3 – 6 hour blocks, these sessions may offer more hands-on participation to people wishing to learn more about many aspects of theatre. Topics may include acting, direction, playwriting, stage managing, musical theatre, acting for the camera, Improv, and Technical, Set and/or Costume Design. Participation is open to registrants and the public by pre-registration. A very reasonable fee is charged.

Final Night Awards Ceremony: The Awards Ceremony takes place on the closing Saturday evening of the festival. Thespian Trophies, Theatre BC’s equivalent to the Oscars, are awarded, as selected by the Adjudicator, to category-winners from the competitive productions. Annual awards & certificates for special accomplishments are also awarded. Open to all ticket holders.

Social Events

Opening Reception: The Opening Reception is held prior to the first Mainstage presentation on the opening evening of the festival. Refreshments, entertainment and a silent fundraising auction are often provided to welcome registrants and public. Opening ceremonies, which take place in the theatre, just before the first Mainstage presentation, involve local, provincial and federal representatives as well as cultural personalities and TBC executives. Open to all ticket holders.

Green Room Socials: Following each evening of theatre on the Mainstage, audience members, cast & crew, staff and volunteers are invited to enjoy good company and a relaxing atmosphere to unwind, share friendships and ideas, and lay back after the excitement of the day. A theme for each evening’s Green Room may be incorporated. Traditional for the final Friday Night Green Room is the appearance of the “Grand Poobah,” who oversees the swearing of allegiance to the “Mainstage Oath” by all Festival “Virgins.” The Green Rooms are open to everyone, cover charge.

Final Night Awards Ceremony: To wind up the festival, a Final Night Awards Ceremony takes place on the closing Saturday Night. A cash-bar, dancing, prizes, and award presentations are included in the fun, marking the end of the community theatre year, and a last chance to visit with friends old and new before heading back home.

Other Mainstage Activities

The Annual General Meeting of Theatre BC is held on the final Saturday afternoon of the MAINSTAGE festival. Theatre BC’s election of officers takes place during this General Meeting.

Silent Auction: Donations of goods and services are collected by the Host Committee (fundraising) for inclusion in a Silent Auction. The items are displayed in the theatre lobby or reception area, with bid sheets for signing or ticket receptacles for adding purchased vouchers with name and phone number. At the end of the MAINSTAGE week, the items would go to the highest bidder or the name drawn from each respective ticket receptacle. This is normally done between the final performance and the Awards Ceremony.

Recreational Activities (optional): Occasionally, time permitting, the Host Committee may choose to add an extracurricular activity, such as softball game or golf tournament to the list of activities for the week.


Theatre BC’s annual provincial theatre festival, MAINSTAGE, is one of the longest running theatre traditions in Canada. The objectives of the provincial festival are:

  • To promote the role of community theatre in B.C. by showcasing productions that represent all regions of the province;
  • To determine and honour the best efforts in community theatre in all phases of theatrical production;
  • To provide a diverse educational experience to TBC members, participants and audience members through professional adjudication and instruction;
  • To meet as a professional body and encourage the interaction of representatives of different backgrounds and regions in the province who share a common cultural involvement;
  • To involve as many TBC members as possible and continue a growing understanding of the association of community theatre clubs through TBC;
  • To focus public attention on ongoing theatre activity in the host community and the region, in order to support or initiate its development;
  • To develop and demonstrate the significance and scope of TBC’s provincial festival by incorporating the participation and support of local concerns, which may include the municipal government, tourism, business associations and cultural, non-profit or other community service organizations;
  • To generate revenue in order to perpetuate the development of TBC and its member clubs.