The Grand Bank theatre had an uncertain future last year, but its board of directors says not only did they manage to pull through for another year – its future seems even brighter.
Kel Matthews, board director of the Grand Bank theatre, said when people realized just how much trouble the theatre was in, for various reasons, more support came about.
"I think when we got into trouble in the fall, it certainly put a spark behind everyone and said, 'Well, we're just not going to let this die,'" Matthews said.
The board appointed an advisory committee to oversee their decisions and act as a safeguard.
Matthews said the loss of the theatre would have been devastating to the region.
"We attract, I don't know, probably… 7,000 people a year just from outside the region, which is a big tourist dollar for the Burin Peninsula," he said.
"I think it would have left a big void to the peninsula as well."
The board found efficiencies in their review, and now the box office is experiencing some of the best attendance numbers it's had in years, including a high number of local audience members.
Michael Worthman, the theatre's new artistic director, said he wanted to get people interested in the theatre by presenting plays with the region's own history, like one about the tusnami of 1929, which took 28 lives.
"My focus was to engage people locally and by the same token, that would bring people in to engage other people. But I wanted to bring people here, really back on side, that art is important and that the theatre festival is important to this region," Worthman said.
He said the community has been responding well to the local flavours on stage.
"It's a style of theatre that they may not have seen ever before in its approach and its staging," Worthman said.
"It's these stories of them, it's about this region in particular, and very much a Newfoundland story."
The board said it has even bigger plans for next year, and will likely look at enhancing the theatre itself as a goal for next season.