The Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts is a pillar of the Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford school community. The centre is hot for orientation and graduation, yet how often do students take advantage of the local theatre?
When people hear live theatre, most people jump to thoughts of big song and dance numbers like the ones featured in popular shows such as Hamilton. The Sanderson Centre offers much more than traditional theatre. The Sanderson Centre caters to all tastes. One key piece is hosting live music, genres of all kinds. Most popular being throwbacks, pop, country and tribute bands.
Shows to look forward to this upcoming semester are The High Kings on Sept. 22 and Relive The Music 50s & 60s Rock n Roll Show on Sept. 28. October will feature The Great Canadian Road Trip on Oct. 16 and the musical stylings of ABBA will be celebrated on Oct. 27.
The Sanderson Centre is also host to comedy shows, musicals and occasionally, screenings of classic movies. Love Bomb, a musical with a raw and unfiltered look at sex trafficking in Canada, will be having two shows taking place on Sept 29. The holiday classic, The Nutcracker, will begin on Dec. 3.
The centre has amazing staff that work as a team to put together the year-long series of events and shows for the community. Theatre manager Glenn Brown is in charge of the operations within the theatre. Brown is crucial in the programming for the 30 to 35 shows that are put on throughout the year.
“I am very fortunate to get to go out and see a lot of work and have agents pitch shows to us, and so a lot of things come in that way,” said Brown.
Caelan Beard is new to the team as the tourism marketing coordinator. Beard is particularly excited for Love Bomb the musical and Leahy’s A Celtic Family Christmas, taking place on Nov. 30. Beard oversees the marketing for Sanderson Centre with the help of a marketing team and the acts themselves.
The Sanderson Centre first opened its doors in 1919 and faced challenges along the way, seeing as Downtown Brantford was home to four movie theatres during the 1940s. One of those four movie theatres was Laurier’s very own Odeon Building. The Sanderson Centre being an old movie theatre was also the inspiration for the Capitol film series that started in 2019. Eventually, the movie theatres moved into the mall, which is now another Laurier building, One Market.
As university students, theatre tickets may seem like a luxury out of the budget, but the Sanderson Centre has a special offer for Laurier students. Brown pointed out the fact students get a 10 per cent discount when they present student ID cards, bringing the total down to $20 a person. With the gloomy winter fast-approaching, a trip to the theatre could be the perfect remedy to a slump during the semester.
This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 1 on Thursday, Aug. 31.