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Parrsboro Creative losing its executive director

Robert More is leaving Parrsboro Creative after a little more than three years to return to Ontario for an opportunity in theatre there and to be close to family. Since his arrival in early 2016, More has worked with the organization’s board and the community to enhance Parrsboro’s profile as an arts and culture hub.
Robert More is leaving Parrsboro Creative after a little more than three years to return to Ontario for an opportunity in theatre there and to be close to family. Since his arrival in early 2016, More has worked with the organization’s board and the community to enhance Parrsboro’s profile as an arts and culture hub. - Darrell Cole

More leaving in early September to return to Ontario

PARRSBORO, N.S. —

Robert More recently made one of the toughest decisions he’s ever made – leaving Parrsboro and the organization he has helped take big steps forward since he arrived three years ago.

The executive director of Parrsboro Creative announced recently that he is leaving the community for an opportunity in the theatre community closer to family in Ontario.

“This experience for me in three years has gone by in a blink. It’s so involving,” More said. “I’m really happy with how we’ve been able to get the word out about who we are and increased our profile. I’m extremely happy with the energy in people, believing they have a future here. There’s tons to do, but I think Parrsboro Creative has really made a contribution to creative Parrsboro and Parrsboro is now being recognized.”

More admitted to applying for the Parrsboro Creative job on a hunch. He had taken a few months off for the first time in 30 years and he had two or three irons in the fire in Ontario, but saw the job offer and the goal of building a cultural economy in Parrsboro.

Now that big steps have been taken in that direction, he finds himself leaving.

“It’s very hard to leave it because I can see what’s coming in the next three years and it’s exciting. If they keep this energy going and this momentum, big things are going to happen with Parrsboro Creative,” he said.

More came to Parrsboro in early 2016 after working as a cultural manager with various theatre companies working in marketing, event management and fundraising as well as community building.

As a playwright, More has more than a hundred professional productions to his name and as an actor he has worked across the country, including at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and a Stratford, Ont.

He has no regrets about his time here.

“I love this community and have so many friends. I have worked with so many amazing people. They’ve rallied around me saying they’re so said to see me go, but at the same time they understand the opportunity I have and they’re happy for me,” he said. “I’m really sad to go.”

When he came to Parrsboro, Parrsboro Creative was relatively new and very few people knew about it. More started putting in 12-hour days and 70-hour weeks to increase the profile of the organization within the community and the county.

To him the work done by Parrsboro Creative and its board of directors has gathered momentum toward making the community the arts and culture destination of Nova Scotia and he’s amazed at the speed of the gains that have been made.

“I didn’t think we go that far that fast,” he said. “You work to get word out, but when you think about it, Lunenburg has been going for 25 years. We’ve only been at it for a few years, but with the volume of information, the timing and the word of mouth we’ve had people come to our cultural campus to take all these courses and they go away and talk about us.”

Parrsboro Creative’s chair, Michael Fuller, said More will be missed.

“Robert has advanced Parrsboro Creative immeasurably. He came to us at a very formative and important time and his three years have provided us a huge sense of stability,” Fuller said. “I’ve enjoyed knowing him and working with him as we shared a common understanding of the vision.”

Fuller said More helped Parrsboro Creative make the giant leap forward it needed but couldn’t do itself. Fuller said his administrative skills and ability to reach out into the community were vital to the growth of the organization.

“His work meant a lot to the community. He made a lot of friends in a short period of time and he also helped us to elevate a couple of our programs,” Fuller said. “He helped us develop the plein air festival, using his skills to create events and create the atmosphere that surround a good event.”

Looking down Parrsboro’s main street to More is like looking back to a kinder, gentler world. It’s something people love and an element that can be a tremendous draw.

“If they handle it right, and if they look back at what’s been accomplished in the last few years, bigger and brighter things could happen here over the next three years and beyond. I'm so sad to be leaving because I can see what’s ahead and it’s exciting,” he said, adding the energy of the community has changed. “If we get this right, it’s going to change the lives of people.”

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