All-inclusive performing arts festival coming this spring

Andrew G. Cooper, TRU alum, was a finalist for artist of the year in the performing arts for the Mayor’s Gala for the Arts. (Omega file photo)

Chimera Theatre is preparing for the launch of their inaugural Hydra Performing Arts Festival. The festival seeks to open up theatre and other performing arts to the general population.

“I’m a big fan of performing arts festivals,” said Chimera Theatre artistic director Andrew Cooper when asked what spurred on the festival. Cooper also said Kamloops has very few performing arts events like this one.

“We want to see what Kamloops has to offer and give them a stage for that.”

The festival committee is looking for artists of all walks of life, no matter race, culture, religion or orientation. The festival is looking to create as diverse a show as possible.

All performances are to be original to Kamloops or those of Kamloops. Any performance will be considered, whether it’s spoken word, dance, music or juggling. The festival is meant to welcome those who feel that they are a minority or are underrepresented in their performing arts community.

“Our number one goal is to reach broader and more diverse audiences,” Cooper said.

TRU’s own Robin Nichols and Wesley Eccleston are two familiar faces on the board for the festival.

Cooper said that this will be their trial year for the festival. With it being a very young project, he anticipates it will grow over the years with the main goal to make the Hydra Performing Arts Festival an annual event for the people of Kamloops.

Along with creating a show to treat Kamloops, the festival is also looking to create a sense of community for people with great ideas and to create ways to help them find a way to display their talent.

Cooper stressed that submitters should not be daunted by a whole show to themselves. There are always possibilities to match people together to create a group performance for the festival.

The festival is open to all locals to Kamloops. Performers are given a 30- to 75-minute time slot to showcase their talent.

“Our mission statement is to host a performing arts festival in Kamloops featuring local, innovative new works of performing arts with a focus on reaching broader and more diverse artists and audiences.”

The Hydra Performing Arts Festival is set as of now to take place May 2018 at the TRU Black Box Theatre. Applications will remain open until Oct. 31.