Confederation Centre hopes 2012 will be better
A cash-strapped Confederation Centre announced its plans for the 2012 Charlottetown Festival Thursday afternoon.
It's hoping to get back in black with some help from the musical Ring of Fire: The music of Johnny Cash, which will be on the main stage from June through to September.
It will share the stage with the revamped Anne of Green Gables: The Musical.
"Our marketing department had done a great deal of research. They came to me and said ‘You know the research shows that islanders absolutely love country music. Do you think that there is show that you could do that would be thrilling for them?’" said Anne Allan, artistic director of the Charlottetown Festival.
"We went through the list of different shows and of course Johnny Cash is the iconic legend of country music," Allan said. "The beauty of it is, it is all done with a Canadian cast and Canadian musicians."
Both productions will run on different days throughout the summer.
"One of the restrictions for me is that I have to just use the people that are in Anne in the second show, which is hugely challenging." Allan said Thursday.
In the red
The Centre is hoping to rebound from a dismal year at the box office.
The Full Monty and Buddy Holly did not bring in the audiences hoped for at the centre, often only half-filling the house.
By summer's end, the Confederation Centre was down almost $400,000. The centre will close for two weeks in January to recoup some of the money.
"I'm not sure if it was tourism or the recession. I think there was many factors that came into play in terms of audience attendance at the Charlottetown Festival," said Jesse Inman, CEO of the Confederation Centre.
"We have targets, and we're going to meet those targets and surpass them, and that means we're going to be very successful," Inman said.
Come All Ye will return to the MacKenzie Theatre in 2012.