Lougheed Centre set to launch new season
The Lougheed Centre will be presenting their first ever contemporary dance performance in this net season with Telemetry on Nov. 9. Supplied/David Cooper
Every year the shows and calendar get bigger at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre, and they show no signs of slowing down as they get set to launch their fourth full year.
This past season they set a new Lougheed mark of 15 sellouts in a 31-show schedule, both marks will almost certainly fall this year. They already have 32 shows booked with the potential to add a few more big names as they come available.
The season will be officially launched on June 14 at the theatre.
"We've crafted what we think is a pretty impressive list of artists and probably the most diverse season we've ever produced," said Lougheed Centre general manager Nick Beach. "Every season we say that but we keep getting better at it."
Beach's main goal has always been to reach as many people as possible with a season's schedule and to expand people's expectations and tastes of entertainment.
This year he plans to push that envelope in a big way when it comes to dance.
There will be a few dance entries on the schedule, but none will be as striking as the show Telemetry by Shay Kuebler and Radical System Art on Nov. 9 as part of the Shuman Insurance Presentation Series.
Beach said Camrose is in for a surprise with this show, that not many here have a real concept of what contemporary dance can be. This show will be a bit of a litmus test for what the local patrons are ready for.
"If our Camrose audience has ever had a moment where we hope we've earned their trust in the kinds of things we program, this is one where I say 'Trust me,'" said Beach. "If you're not sure you like dance … you will leave going 'Wow.' You will leave being impressed."
Telemetry is a meeting of science and athleticism and pushes the limits of what a person is capable of.
"In the picture you see Shay leaping over a dancer, that is indicative of the piece," said Beach. "It is that physical level that is so impressive to watch. It's a piece about movement and all about story."
The season will include major acts, some big names of years gone by, music, plays, comedians, magicians and family geared shows.
There will be five different series in the season once again as they continue to develop a full fleet of opportunities and to appeal to as many tastes as possible. The Shuman Insurance Presentation Series will have 12 shows, the Fountain Tire Family Series includes three shows free of charge, the Remax Classical Series presented by Tracy Brandingen will have six shows, and there are five special presentations already booked – including the recently announced Matthew Good acoustic show on Feb. 20 and Jann Arden on Nov. 1 and 2.
Beach is also focused on continuing to develop the Central Agencies Cabaret series that made it's debut this past season. The Cabaret Series is in the Mayer Family Hall at the Lougheed Centre and provides an intimate 120-seat venue with cocktails and tables, a completely different atmosphere and setting than most shows presented by the Lougheed Centre in the Cargil Theatre. There will be some tweaks for the second year, however, as they will be shifting the location of the stage.
"We're turning the room 90 degrees and making it even more intimate and making the audience experience even better than it was last year and it was pretty good last year," said Beach.
Helping to launch the season and show off the type of talent that will be performing in the Cabaret Series will be Bernard Quilala and the Q-Tones. Quilala made his debut at the Lougheed Centre last year while performing with Krystal dos Santos in the first ever cabaret show at the theatre. At the time Beach had no idea who he was but in a matter of a couple of songs he knew he had to book him.
"He knocked the socks off of everybody," said Beach. "He opened his mouth and it was like 'holy cripes!'"
The rest of the lineup will be unveiled at the launch on June 14 at 7 p.m., though facility tours will be available prior to the launch starting at 6:30 p.m. This is the first opportunity to purchase tickets for most of the season's shows.