The Dryden Observer

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10 years and 100 shows: Dryden Entertainment Series patrons toast to a decade at The Centre

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Concert goers and Dryden Entertainment Series supporters and volunteers raise a glass to the continued health of the 26 year-old concert series, on the the occasion of its 10th anniversary in the Dryden Regional Training and cultural Centre. Photo by Chris Marchand

By Chris Marchand

Dryden Entertainment Series patrons raised a glass in celebration of a decade of high quality entertainment in the community through the Dryden Entertainment Series.

John Mann’s Oct. 17 performance marked the Entertainment Series’ 100th show and 10 years at The Centre.

Former Dryden Entertainment Series chair Angela Bishop, now of Red Lake, says the community has something to be proud of in both the series and the venue it calls home.

“When I look back 10 years to that opening night, I remember standing on stage, looking out over the audience and feeling this tremendous energy,” said Bishop. “I always thought that night was magical — it was about this coming together of the people who had the vision and who were able to sell the idea to everyone else.”

With a focus on emerging Canadian talent, the Series spent 16 seasons in Dryden High School’s Gordon Wood Auditorium before spearheading a fundraising drive to build the Dryden Regional Cultural and Training Centre in partnership with the Keewatin Patricia District School Board and The City of Dryden with government support.

The Centre opened its doors in 2004 with a performance by Michael Burgess, a kick-off to a week of shows.

Current DES chair Wendy Wiedenhoeft says the Series remains healthy but relies heavily on season ‘passport’ sales to sustain itself and plan ahead for future shows.

“It’s been a fabulous run,” said Widenhoeft. “We are in good shape, we have great support from the community and the people who buy both series and individual tickets to our concerts. We have great support from our sponsors and we’re optimistic for the future of the series. We feel that we’ll be able to continue in this way for many years to come.”


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