On Thursday, June 6, the Vancouver arts community, Vancouver School Board Trustees and staff as well as officials from the provincial government and the City of Vancouver came together to celebrate the grand opening of the Green Thumb Theatre Campus. The new arts centre is located at 5522 McKinnon Street, behind Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School.
According to organizers, Vancouver's arts community is rejoicing today at the announcement of affordable access to new production spaces.
"We're thrilled about this collaboration with the Vancouver School Board. Green Thumb now has a beautiful home base of operations for at least the next 20 years, and limitless possibilities to share our work with students in Vancouver and beyond," says Green Thumb's artistic director Patrick McDonald.
An environmentally-friendly retrofit project has given new life to the historic Carleton Hall, Vancouver's oldest schoolhouse, nearly destroyed by fire almost five years ago. The former kindergarten building is now restored to its heritage character design on the outside, and features two large, modern rehearsal studios inside.
Green Thumb is already accepting rehearsal studio reservations for rent at $18 - $20 per hour. Starting next year, the group will also offer classes to youth in dance, acting, playwriting, directing, set and costume design.
"Green Thumb Theatre is a welcome new addition to the neighbourhood. Their campus is going to provide arts and cultural activities for students throughout the province for generations to come," said Patti Bacchus, Chair of the Vancouver Board of Education.
To celebrate the launch, Green Thumb is inviting the general public to an open house BBQ on Saturday, June 8 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Site tours, music, hot dogs and refreshments will be offered to the community free of charge, rain or shine.