PEI

The Guild arts space turns around its fortunes after nearly closing

The Guild arts facility in Charlottetown is reporting a big turn-around in its fortunes, with more patrons, more hired staff, and more support going out to Island artists.

5 times more customers, new renovations and more staff highlight success

The Guild in Charlottetown has revived its fortunes after shutting down for six months four years ago. (Submitted by Alanna Jankov)

The Guild arts facility in Charlottetown is reporting a big turn-around in its fortunes, with more patrons, more hired staff, and more support going out to Island artists.

That's quite a change from four years ago, when the theatre and art gallery closed down for six months because of a lack of money.

Since reopening, they've seen visitors increase five-fold, and full-time staff has gone from two to four.

Plus, The Guild has been better able to fulfill its mandate to support Island artists, giving out more than $30,000 worth of subsidies last year.

"Subsidized performance space, professional development, gallery subsidies, as well as even the office spaces that are only rented out to people that fit in with that mandate and that criteria," said The Guild general manager Alana Jankov. 

The hit musical Anne and Gilbert accounts for 75 per cent of visitors to The Guild. (Guild Theatre Productions)
After reopening in May 2012, a marquee has been added to the building's front, the art gallery space was renovated with a new bar area, and raked seating was installed in the theatre.

Last year, The Guild had over 250 performance events in the theatre, offered 100 free rehearsals, and 24 gallery exhibits.

Jankov said one of the keys to turning things around was attracting the flagship musical Anne and Gilbert for the last three summer and fall seasons, which provided about 75 per cent of The Guild's patrons.

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