Theatre, youth cash in on Ottawa announcement

Brad Works
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Former Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey hugs Bette Douglas of the Tantramar Theatre Society after present MP Scott Armstrong announced Tuesday $41,000 in funding for the theatre. Brad Works - Amherst Daily News


AMHERST -Two people to be hired by Tantramar Theatre using Skills Link funding announced here Tuesday are being handed a key to a better future, says Angus Furlong.

Furlong, who today runs a successful new car dealership, was a participant in the area's first such program 16 years ago, under the guidance of Tantramar Theatre artistic director Bette Douglas.

"What I learned from working in that program with Bette is that a lot of people waste a lot of time and energy worrying about what someone else will think rather than just getting it done," Furlong said. "She really helped me and a lot of other people I know from that program open up our communication skills. Absolutely, what I learned has helped me today in business."

Courtesy of yesterday's funding, Douglas is getting the opportunity to continue to the work she started with Furlong and the others in that first group.

Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong told the audience gathered at the downtown theatre yesterday that Douglas would oversee the program created by the $41,366 in funding to hire two people between the ages of 15 and 30 for the group's next program.

The work will involve development and set up of an Opera for Youth program that will be presented to young people using Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and a Ham with the works of Mozart to accompany the story.

"One of the most enriching experiences in life is actually working and enjoying the arts," said Armstrong. "You also know how difficult it can be for young people to get jobs."

The funding will provide 42 weeks of full-time work for the Skills Link participants.

While visibly pleased with the funding, Douglas was equally excited about the new program.

"Green Eggs and Ham is a parable in which a child teaches an adult about prejudice," she said. "Green Eggs and Ham represents all those things in life we are sure we will not like even though we have never tried them."

As for bringing opera to the kids, she said: "They hear it everyday but may not realize it. It's in cartoons.


Organizations: Tantramar Theatre Workshop Society, Amherst Daily News

Geographic location: Ottawa, Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley

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