Saturday night marked the first anniversary of the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, a facility that has had its fair share of both darts and laurels over the past 365 days. The anniversary celebration was marked with an evening of Gershwin music put on by musicians from Edmonton, including members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Gershwin music, while familiar to a large number of people, certainly is not everyone’s cup of tea. But neither is watching a live wrestling show, and we have seen that take place at the centre over the past year.
You see, the slogan of the facility is – It’s Ours – and we think the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, under the direction of manager Laurie Stalker and her staff, have lived up to that slogan.
We have been critical in the past of the low turnouts for the Centennial Concert Series, but have praised the diversity of entertainment on that eight-month-long roster of performances. Stalker has brought to Morinville a number of acts familiar to many and some that people had never heard of, but whom they would not hesitate to see again after being exposed to them.
Interspersed throughout the Town-run events were a number of concerts backed with private dollars: 1970s rock band Streetheart and Canadian comedian Jimmy Flynn during last year’s St. Jean Baptiste Festival were two privately-funded concerts that were the facility’s first sold out shows.
But while big name performers and glory days’ rock stars have added a little big city flair to a small town facility, the real magic has been home grown. Watching middle-school students perform a school play as we did with Primeau’s recent production of the Little Mermaid or this week’s upcoming MCHS production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, allows us to all take a little pride in our home-grown talent and the fact that we have a facility that will accommodate a variety of entertainment and cultural needs.
There are still those in the community who view the $11 million facility as a white elephant that should never have been built. Make no mistake about it; this facility is not merely about school plays and tock concerts. This facility is capable of handling a local wedding reception, a regional business symposium, a Christian conference and youth rally, and any number of small- to mid-size trade shows. Add to that the myriad clubs and groups who meet morning, noon and night for their meetings as well as the fitness and general health programs run by our Community Service Department and we have a facility that is meeting the needs of this growing community on a wide variety of levels.
In the world of marketing, there are a lot of slogans that are pure BS. The Morinville Community Cultural Centre’s claim that It’s Ours is not one of them, something the past year’s lengthy list of events, performances and exhibits have clearly shown.