Tuesday, August 12, 2014
In June of 1999 the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion opened. It was built by dedicated people in our community who had a vision to bring state of the art performances to Haliburton County. Over the past 15 years the range of shows and opportunities has continued to expand and this year the Highlands Summer Festival offered the first ever “Early Stages” program for local and visiting youth. 13 young people worked with the Artistic Director, Scot Denton, and several students/ graduates from the Sheridan College Performing Arts Program. My daughter and I had the pleasure of attending the final presentation of the Early Stages Program, that was held at the Haliburton County Museum on the long weekend. The performance was one of the best shows that I have watched this summer. It was creative and original and I couldn’t help but be so grateful that our kids are getting these learning opportunities that will only help them gain more confidence, focus and presence which will benefit them as they grow into young adults. I’m quite sure the original vision of the Performing Arts Pavilion did not include an Early Stages program, and yet as the theatre continues to expand and grow, so do the opportunities and ideas and possibilities. I think we can all agree that our county is a better place of the theatre. And yet it was a big risk in 1999 to raise the money and commit to putting bums in seats and making that theatre a success. I can’t help but think that the idea of bringing a pool and community centre to our county is in the same place that the theatre was 15 years ago. There are a dedicated group of people who have a vision to bring more accessible physical activity to people of all ages and abilities in Haliburton County. It is impossible to know what opportunities will be generated because of a community centre/ pool, but it is certain that it would evolve. As a private business owner in Haliburton I am fully in support of a community centre that will offer affordable recreational opportunities for people of all income levels. We deserve what communities across the province have. If we want to continue to attract people to move and live here we need to continue to provide the services that people desire. I remember when the new libraries were being built and people said to me “we don’t need libraries, people use the internet to get information” . All one has to do is visit any of the libraries and see the amount of use they are getting every day (from locals and tourists) to know that it is a vital service. Many people questioned the expansion of the college and it has become another example of vibrant expansion. Our county continues to support and embrace new ideas and possibilities and we want to keep expanding. I hope our politicians will eventually trust us enough to know that we will support and use what is built. Let’s keep making Haliburton a place where people want to move to. We will benefit.