February 8, 2018
Maritimers are storytellers at heart. Whether it’s the tale your grandfather told you about a whale nearly capsizing his fishing boat, or your aunt’s favourite story about meeting the love of her life aboard the mv Holiday Island, we love to spin a good yarn. Maybe that’s why we’re such big fans of the theatre. Here in the Maritimes, there’s always a play to see and a story to tell—often in beautiful theatres with wonderful histories. Today, we’re going to take a look at a few of our favourite, from the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, to the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, and beyond! The lights have dimmed, the orchestra is tuned up, it’s show time!
The largest professional theatre company in the Maritimes, the Neptune Theatre was founded in Halifax in 1963. Located on the corner of Sackville and Argyle Streets in the heart of Halifax, Neptune Theatre showcases talent from across Canada (and the world), staging productions of everything from world-famous musicals to one-man shows. Drama, comedy, adventure, fantasy, you’ll find it all at Neptune—either in the main Fountain Hall Theatre or the smaller, more intimate Studiobank Stage. Recently, the theatre underwent a major renovation, maintaining its timeless beauty, while also making it more comfortable and accessible for patrons.
Tip: Neptune offers a Pay What You Can Night on the first Tuesday night of every show, making these fantastic shows more accessible than ever before.
Located less than 10 minutes from where you disembark the mv Confederation and mv Holiday Island, the deCoste Performing Arts Centre has garnered a reputation as “The best little theatre in eastern Nova Scotia!” And it’s easy to see why. Since opening 35 years ago, the Centre has hosted thousands of performances, ranging from live theatre and dance to local and international performance artists. Whether you love live music, ballet, stand-up comedy, or spellbinding storytelling, you’ll find it all at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre in Pictou.
Perhaps the most storied venue in the Maritimes, The Savoy Theatre is a legendary performance space. For nearly a century, it has played host to everything from vaudeville-style comedy to boxing matches, local performers to international superstars. Today, the Savoy Theatre has been fully restored to its original beauty and plays host to a mix of live music, stage productions, and large-scale musicals. A beautiful venue through-and-through, no visit to Cape Breton is complete without paying a visit to the Savoy for a first-hand look at all the talent Cape Breton has to offer.
And while you’re here, be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Rumour has it that some guests are so fond of the Savoy Theatre that they decided to never leave and continue to make their ghostly presence felt to this very day!
Originally constructed in 1913, the Imperial Theatre in Saint John is one of the oldest theatres in the Maritimes. Restored to the splendor of its 1913 heyday in 1994, the theatre has a rich history of playing host to incredibly talented performers. Perhaps the best thing about the Imperial, beyond its beautiful Victorian-era aesthetic, is its ability to comfortably seat 900 patrons without sacrificing acoustics or sightlines. Located 10-minutes from the mv Fundy Rose, the Imperial Theatre is a wonderful spot to catch a show during your stay in New Brunswick’s port city.
The Homburg Theatre, part of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, has the special distinction of hosting Anne of Green Gables–The Musical every summer. About to enter its 54th season, the Anne musical is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest-running annual musical theatre production. Comfortable and modern, The Homburg Theatre hosts other shows throughout the year, including hypnotists, musicians, children’s performances, comedians, and more. It can accommodate more than 1,100 guests on two levels and is fully wheelchair accessible. They even offer booster seats for the littlest patrons of the arts.
The art of storytelling is alive and well in the Maritimes! With theatres hosting great performances year-round across the region. Whether you love the Shakespearian classics or modern masterpieces, you’ll find them being performed in our Maritime theatres. To learn more about the exciting things waiting for you on Canada’s East Coast, head over to Explore the Maritimes.