Dave Carroll, December 27, 1957 – December 13, 2018.
Michael Donald Busswood – or “Busswood” as he was lovingly know as by friends and family passed away on July 28, 2018 after a long battle with heart disease. Mike’s towering presence and dry wit always added to the conversation. He included his whole family in community theatre, his wife Cathe, and daughters Samantha and Kaitlyn. Mike had received many awards and accolades for his acting, producing and directing. He was president of Surrey Little Theatre for a number of years. A real supporter of Theatre BC, Busswood was frequently involved in festivals shows with the Fraser Valley Zone.
It is with heavy hearts that after a brief and unexpected illness, Terrace Little Theatre says goodbye to Sharon Lynch, who left this world and our theatre community September 9th, 2018, with her husband Jim by her side.
Sharon Diane Lynch (nee Cone) was born in 1941 in Rosetown, Saskatchewan. After she married Jim Lynch they moved to Terrace to raise their four children. She joined the Terrace Little Theatre in the 1960s. There was no looking back, because from that time forward Sharon was involved in almost every TLT production in one way or another.
A talented actress, Sharon beguiled audiences in innumerable productions including “Bus Stop”, “A Streetcar Named Desire” (Best Supporting Actress at Mainstage), “Father of the Bride”, “Waiting for the Parade”, “Harvey”, “The Watering Place” (Best Actress SKZ), “Ravenscroft”, “Vigil” (Best Supporting Actress SKZ and HM Mainstage), “Murder is a Game” and “Maggie’s Getting Married”.
Sharon loved to act, but she also had a keen eye for design. From the tiniest makeup detail to the broad strokes of colour scheme or set design, Sharon had something to contribute. Not just in words. At times she was found crawling around the concrete auditorium floor, painting it to look like a vintage attic, decorating a glossily lacquered rickshaw, or repainting the TLT resident fixture – a wingback chair – to look like weathered leather. Her opinions on costume were not for the faint of heart, and it paid to listen because her eye knew what was needed. Her backstage quick-change costume lessons were legendary, if not a bit frightening to the uncooperative actor. Should TLT be in need of a piece of furniture, all you had to do was ring up Sharon and explain the problem. Usually this resulted in Sharon arriving at the McColl Playhouse, single-handedly staggering towards the building, hauling various pieces of furniture apparently lurking in her home to the auditorium.
In later years Sharon became a constant, supporting actors who needed to learn lines, and as Mother Lynch, then renamed Mumsie, in the dressing room calming nerves, fixing eyeliner, and supplying lemon drops, individual carefully labeled makeup packets, tissues and wet ones. And yes, sometimes The Wrath of Sharon reared up; never pretty at the time, always forgiven and funny afterwards.
Sharon was intensely loyal to the Skeena Zone and Theatre BC, tirelessly promoting the value of being part of the incredible kinship between Clubs, Zones and the provincial office. She served on the TLT Board, and as Club Rep and Zone Chair. She received Skeena Zone’s coveted Tom Rooney Award in 1999 for her service to the Skeena Zone. In 2008 she received the prestigious Theatre BC Eric Hamber Award for her contributions to the theatre community.
When we lose one of our greats, the hole in our hearts is big. Filling Sharon’s (stylish) boots is not possible. But we can learn from her example of commitment, loyalty and utter love for community theatre.
So long, Sharon Lynch. Give notes at the Pearly Gates; we know you want to. Fly with the angels. Look after the TLT.
~ Submitted by Terrace Little Theatre
Gordon Mantle passed away after a short battle with cancer on April 23 in Peace Arch Hospital.
He was a long time Theatre BC member and board member, and cheerleader extraordinare for the Greater Vancouver Zone. He was also a long time board member for the Community Theatre Coalition and the White Rock Players Club. He was an actor, sound designer and well-loved stage manager. Gord inspired all newbies that joined the community theatre fold. An avid photographer, he often posted his morning photos of his beloved White Rock Pier.
A message from Fred Partridge, President White Rock Players’ Club:
“The White Rock Players’ Club is sad to announce the passing of Gord Mantle; one of our longest-serving Board members. Gord passed away peacefully on Monday April 23rd after a brief stay in hospital. Gord was a dedicated lover of theatre and was involved with many other theatre clubs and organizations in addition to the WRPC. He maintained a busy schedule, attending countless productions all over the lower mainland, and of course, his trips to see Broadway shows in New York City. Gord’s history with the Players’ Club goes back to the 1970s, and he was a amazing resource when it came to Club history. At one time or another, Gord was involved with every facet of the production of a play and he was the go-to person for people new to theatrical productions. His knowledge was only over-shadowed by his kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness – he was a rare gift to our Club and to all that knew him. We will all miss him.”
The community theatre world has lost another great soul.
He was an enthusiast, instrumental in cultivating the theatre scene in Vernon and the province of BC.
He was a Past-President of Theatre BC 1968-1970, as well as a Life Member and a recipient of the prestigious Eric Hamber trophy.
Huggins, a founding member of Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre, passed away on April 9, 2018 in his Lower Mainland home at 95-years-old.
“Doug was a great mentor for me.” said Sarah ”Scotty” McLean.
Huggins relocated to Vernon with his wife Mary from the UK in the 1950s.
An architect by profession, Huggins and business-partner Drew Allen were approached by City Council in 1962 when the building, that would later become the home of Powerhouse Theatre, was slated for demolition. They were asked to see if it could be salvaged and used for a fire hall,” “The answer was “No, it would make a lousy fire hall, but it would make a wonderful theatre.’”
While Huggins and Allen hadn’t set out to create a theatre at the time, as it seemed too wild a dream, the enthusiasts were enamoured with the building. Vernon Little Theatre and the Theatrical Arts Centre moved in and would eventually become what is now the Powerhouse Theatre.
Formerly a power station, which was covered in vines, Huggins and Allen redesigned the building and came up with the concept for the iconic Vernon building as a theatre.
According to fellow founding member Lorraine Allum, the 75 team members who worked on the transformation of the building were involved in the opening production. “Everybody who worked on it, was given a part,” Allum said. “Whether they wanted it or not,” laughed McLean.
“On the evening of Nov. 23, 1963, the Powerhouse Theatre opened with a production of Jean Giraudoux’s Madwoman of Chaillot, directed by Paddy Malcolm, and the set designed by Doug Huggins.
Since that original performance, the curtains have continued to open for more than 50 years, with the final performance this season, Calendar Girls
Huggins’ impact on the industry extends beyond the confines of Powerhouse Theatre. Throughout the years his design talents extended to many other theatre companies.
Many of the sets he designed have won provincial awards,” McLean said. He was so dedicated to theatre that he continued to design sets well into his 90s.
“Theatre was a passion for Doug. He designed many, many, many sets for sure,” Allum said.
She credits Doug and Mary Huggins as the two who taught her everything she knows about theatre.
“They really push you to your limit to get the best out of you,” McLean said.
Huggins’ architectural work is also seen in various locations across the city. City Hall, the RCMP building, The Fire Hall, the former Library and Museum are a few of his legacies..
“His work is embedded in the clay of Vernon,” Allum said, adding that Huggins was a theatre consultant in the formation of the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.
“His contribution to the city is major and his contribution to Powerhouse exists because of people like him.”Because of Huggins’ hard work, Allum said, it gave theatre buffs an outlet in Vernon
“A theatre is only a building and is of no value without the human resources to fill it and bring it to life,” Huggins wrote. “Our aim is that the Powerhouse Theatre, with its advanced and excellent physical resources, will continue to attract the people of this community in providing high standard of live theatre.”
Huggins is survived by his wife Mary, sons Michael and Peter, his daughter Susan Sambol, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will be remembered by all for his contribution to Powerhouse Theatre, the City of Vernon, and the province of British Columbia.