Q&A

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - MJ SCENE -

The Moose Jaw Cul­tural Cen­tre an­nounced their new man­age­ment team this week — Derik Cro­nan, gen­eral man­ager, Eric La France, pro­duc­tion man­ager, and Mike Nickel, front of house man­ager.

“I think the chal­lenges we have ex­pe­ri­enced in the past, my­self hav­ing been a board mem­ber through a lot of those chal­lenges, I think I add a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive of what ex­actly we were go­ing through. A large part of it is we felt the fa­cil­ity was very closed off, not very wel­com­ing to the com­mu­nity,” said Cro­nan. “We are look­ing at ways of invit­ing peo­ple into the fa­cil­ity and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to make use of it as a city fa­cil­ity.”

Board chair­per­son Colleen Pat­ter­son called the new team a fresh start for the cen­tre.

“We have a new em­pha­sis on what this cul­tural cen­tre can bring to Moose Jaw,” she said. “We hope with this young team that we can bring in some things that are go­ing to ap­peal to the 30- and 40-year-olds, who haven’t been users of the place.”

The Times-Her­ald asked new gen­eral man­ager Cro­nan a few ques­tions.

1 Why do you think peo­ple should sup­port the arts in Moose Jaw?

The arts are a vi­tal part of any com­mu­nity and they serve as a gate­way that can al­low peo­ple to see things from many dif­fer­ent view­points.

The arts ex­ist to en­rich and some­times chal­lenge peo­ple and, as a re­sult, they help Moose Jaw grow as a com­mu­nity. The Moose Jaw Cul­tural Cen­tre was founded with the idea of pro­vid­ing an out­let for artists to showcase their work and has been and will con­tinue to be an im­por­tant part of Moose Jaw.

2 What’s your vi­sion for the Cul­tural Cen­tre?

As some­one who grew up in Moose Jaw, some of my favourite mem­o­ries of the Moose Jaw Cul­tural Cen­tre are of the days when it was the Capi­tol Theatre. Over the years I have been able to see it grow into a fa­cil­ity that now en­com­passes all as­pects of the arts.

My vi­sion for is a fa­cil­ity that not only pro­vides a home for artists, but also serves to ed­u­cate the com­mu­nity through art work­shops and classes, paving the way for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

I would also like to see a ded­i­cated space to al­low the artists in the cen­tre to showcase and po­ten­tially sell their work.

3 What’s your back­ground in the arts?

I have a strong pas­sion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for all forms of art in­clud­ing music, po­etry, vis­ual and per­form­ing arts. I be­lieve that all art has a

place and all artis­tic views are im­por­tant and my job is to pro­vide a wide va­ri­ety of art and cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences to Moose Jaw.

4 The cen­tre has been go­ing through a rocky pe­riod. How do you plan to turn things around?

I be­lieve the changes made over the past year were done in the best in­ter­ests of the Moose Jaw Cul­tural Cen­tre and the City of Moose Jaw.

With the ad­di­tion of RuBarb mov­ing into the fa­cil­ity we have seen in­creased traf­fic and in­ter­est in the build­ing and I am look­ing for­ward to strength­en­ing our re­la­tion­ship with them in a way that is both ben­e­fi­cial to the fa­cil­ity and the arts com­mu­nity in Moose Jaw.

5 What would be your dream show/act/ ex­hi­bi­tion you would like to bring to the Cen­tre?

This is one of my favourite ques­tions yet; at the same time, I strug­gle with it. There are so many artists and mu­si­cians I love, the key is to

find a bal­ance be­tween what I en­joy, what would be fi­nan­cially fea­si­ble and ap­peal to the city of Moose Jaw and sur­round­ing area. In terms of mu­si­cians, if bud­get wasn’t a con­cern, I would def­i­nitely say Frank Ocean, Kanye West or Ar­cade Fire! Keep­ing things more re­al­is­tic, I would love to bring the Bare­naked Ladies, Bur­ton Cum­mings, Jef­frey Straker or Dean Brody to Moose Jaw. I would also love to see Ian Keteku re­turn to the Mae Wil­son Theatre.

I had the plea­sure of see­ing him per­form at a po­etry event the Festival of Words hosted and his per­for­mance re­ally res­onated with me.

In terms of vis­ual art I would love to dis­play a col­lec­tion of work from Karli Jes­sup, a Regina-born artist whose work feels so rel­e­vant in to­day’s po­lit­i­cal cli­mate.

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