Last year’s cast of the monster of a show – Young Frankenstein.

Oak Bay arts college celebrates smokin’ 17th season Saturday

Canadian College of Performing Arts is home to the three-year program that draws young performers from across the nation

Dorothy Gale reminds us, “There’s no place like home” and likely the latest spate of Oak Bay resident actors would love to play such a classic Disney role as they dish out their own hometown tales at an open house billed as “Spend a Day at CCPA.”

The Canadian College of Performing Arts, not quite a block from Oak Bay village is home to the three-year program that draws young performers from across the nation and their open house on Sept. 20 is designed to inspire, inform, and launch the 17th season. The day will feature a society meeting and demonstrations.

“You can take a tour of learning. If you want you can even participate,” said Darold Roles, artistic and education director. Classes of stage combat to one-on-one singing instruction will be on display while popcorn and chocolate fondue keep things classy.

“We’re showcasing our students and where their homes are,” added Roles, of a display offered by students.

That evening, the year-three students that make up Company C will host a family-friendly cabaret fundraiser at the campus, 1701 Elgin Rd.

“They learn how to run their own company in third year,” Roles explained.

It’s the start of a year where third year students host their own shows, learning all about business, props and more as they get set to cap their student career.

Company C also hosts Spring Awakening in association with The Belfry Theatre at the Belfry from Oct. 21 to Nov. 2. The Tony Award–Winning Broadway rock musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer turmoil of life and sexuality.

Second year students promise to create and direct a provocative and engaging showcase for the TD Festival of New Works Dec. 10 to 13 at CCPA.

“Students present their own original works,” Roles said. “It’s all fresh, new work. They are the future leaders of the Canadian cultural mosaic, so it’s an inspiring show.”

Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility runs from Dec. 3 to 7 at a location yet to be found.

Six Characters in Search of an Author is slated for Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, 2015 at the CCPA performance hall, 1701 Elgin Rd.

Casino Royale 006 Never Say Never Again is Feb. 5. The fundraiser once voted Favourite Artsy Fundraiser by Monday Magazine’s M Awards is again held at at the glamorous Oak Bay Beach Hotel, 1175 Beach Dr.

“It’s a sparkly evening where people get to dress up and there’s sassy entertainment by our students,” Roles said.

Feb. 19 to 21, the CCPA performance hall will transform to an airport waiting lounge for Cities & Girls, a world premier of the dramatic music theatre event adapted for the stage from the works of internationally renowned Canadian spoken word writer/performer Myra Davies.

Broadway Lights, a performance with the Victoria Symphony runs March 20 to 22 at the Royal Theatre. Tickets and information are available at victoriasymphony.ca.

The season wraps with Smokey Joe’s Café from April 16 to 25. CCPA presents the Grammy Award-winning Broadway review, directed and choreographed by Roles, at the performance hall on Elgin Road.

Roles expects the longer runs at the Elgin Road hall will inspire residents to want the growing arts college to stay in the community.

“We give a lot to the community,” he said, citing carolling at Christmas and visits to seniors homes.

“A lot of people don’t realize the footprint we have,” said Steven Seltzer, communications and marketing manager. “We would like to stay in Oak Bay. It’s not our only option, but we have strong ties here.”

The private college is owned by the non-profit Canadian Heritage Arts Society that will hold its annual general meeting Sept. 20 and discussion will include options for growth as the school has overfilled the church space for a couple of years now.

“We need support, vocal support and funding,” said Roles, in hopes of hearing ideas from the art-loving public.

Visit ccpacanada.com for details on upcoming performances or about the ongoing plan for CCPA to stay in Oak Bay.

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