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Our kids classes are back! Jennie Bice returns with two sessions for kids who want to learn about theatre! For more info and to register, go to our Classes Page.

 

What's Up at Opening Nite: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


The ONTS Board of Directors has some important news to share.

Opening Nite Theatre Society has served this community for 31 years, beginning by bouncing around from venue to venue, rehearsal spaces rented in church halls, people's basements and community spaces. 19 years ago we rented out the space on Railway Ave to use for rehearsals and storage, and a year later, after consultation with the fire inspector, began using it as a small, 50 seat theatre where we grew to do three to four large productions a season. For 18 years our volunteers applied for grants, saved, built, developed and brought great theatre to the community of Mission. But last year things changed.

We received a letter from the bylaw officer telling us we needed a business license. We had never needed one before, but in 2019 the rules changed, and this the first we were hearing about it. But rules are rules, so we applied for a business license. To get one, we had to have a building inspection. The inspector noticed deficiencies in the building, told us to get an architect to draw up plans and then have the repairs done.

Unfortunately it is an old building, and the first architect we talked to wasn't willing to take on the job. Subsequent architects wouldn't even return our calls. We knew that the cost to do all this was going to be huge, but just getting someone to come and give us an estimate was proving incredibly difficult.
Finally Mark Haney, the Arts and Culture Manager for the City of Mission, was able to convince an architectural firm to come out and have a look. A structural engineer met with us and the building inspector, who arrived with a new list of demands, and a crushing blow: the space is off limits for doing productions. We may be able to upgrade it to use for meetings and rehearsals, but in his opinion, performances are off the table.
So right now we are awaiting a letter from the architect outlining a plan for building improvements. Next we will have to get the building owner to sign off on getting a building permit. The cost of the work needed will almost certainly exceed our annual budget, and if we don't have a place to do our shows, we are without a way to make money, without the ability to what we are all here to do, and are dead in the water.
 

Here’s how you can help:

  • Advocate for Us: 

Write to the mayor and council to express the importance of live theatre in our community. Emphasize the need for a civic theatre / performance space that seats 100-150 people, accessible and affordable for various community groups, music presentation groups, touring theatre companies, etc. 

We have applied to bring a delegation to present our case to the council on Monday, June 17th at 6pm, and your presence and support would be invaluable.

  • Donate: 

We will need financial contributions, but we will only ask once we have a clear plan and know the exact requirements. Rest assured, your donations will be directed where they are most needed.

  • Volunteer Your Skills: 

If you are in the trades and can offer your time or materials, please watch our social media and website for updates on what is needed and when. We can provide tax receipts for all financial & material donations.


The good news is that kids summer camps will happen! As long as we are working towards a solution we will not be shut out of the building.

We have a great lineup for next season:

  • Four short plays written by local authors and workshopped this April

  • Jurassic Park the Panto

  • Welcome to Paradise, to be directed by Hazel Eason.


So far we have a guarantee that the Panto can be produced at Heritage Park Middle School, in the Cafetorium, which will be outfitted to host performances. But we have no venues for the other shows. The city is working with us to find some solutions, but if anyone has any ideas of a venue that we could book for three or four weeks, bringing in sets, props and costumes, has a backstage space and a grid for lighting, and won't break the bank, please let us know!

In the meantime, we will keep you posted, and put out calls for help when we have a real idea of what we need. Thank you all for your patronage, support, passion, and volunteer hours over the years. Opening Nite Theatre Society and all that it has achieved, is the culmination of a community's passion for theatre, and we all deserve to have a group that grows and flourishes and provides art that nourishes and entertains us all, and in a space that serves us well.

Past Productions at ONTS

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promo shot 2019 kids camp
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writers fest 2015
Garage Salepic
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Opening Nite Theatre Society (or ONTS, as it is familiarily known) is a community theatre group located in Mission, B.C., Canada. 

 

Each year we present a four play season performed in our theatre on Railway avenue in Mission, across from the West Coast Express Railway station. We also do other smaller shows, such as the Writers' Festival. ONTS is all about providing quality theatre for and by the community. Everyone is welcome!

 
Opening Nite Theatre Society has been a part of Mission since 1993. We have had our own venue since 2005. Opening Nite Theatre is a former shop front that has been converted, through many hours of volunteer labour, into a cozy black box theatre that seats 50, with room for two wheelchairs.  For the annual Christmas Pantomime, carpet is put down so that the kids can sit up front close to the stage, increasing the seating capacity to 65. You can find us at 33223 N. Railway Ave in Mission.

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