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Money in search of ideas

“We’ve received letters of support, and those are welcome, but we need ideas,” said Garrah, who sits on the board with Greg VanTigham, Claudine Lusier, Andrew Verigan, Sandy Robinson, and Brian Skehill.

So far, they have reached in to the town’s theatrical past for The Jasper Story. Written for Alberta’s golden jubilee by Elsie Park Gowan, the historical pageant was last dusted off and performed in the Seventies.  

Mounting a production of The Jasper Story would require the resources and interest of the entire community, said Garrah, who sees it as the means to establishing a permanent professional theater company in Jasper.  

Don Engerdahl, Hinton’s arts and culture co-ordinator, said the proposal to revive the historic play dovetails with what is being proposed for Hinton.

“There is a chance for both communities to come together on this,” said Engerdahl, who is working with Hinton’s historical society, and the Break a Leg theatre company.

Hinton is looking at a number of  historic components for 2011 – the 100th anniversary of  the Grand Trunk and Pacific Railway, the journey of the Overlanders to the gold fields of the Caribou, and David Thompson’s final year in the region.

“We’ll have a better understanding after the public forum,” said Engerdahl, who plans to bring the community together by mid-July.

“The proposal must go to Ottawa for approval in November, so we have time. But we want to make sure the communities are working together on this. We have important roles to play together in a year-long celebration.”

There is also a fund-raising component to be considered, said Garrah. The federal government provides 75 per cent of the money. The organizations must raise the balance. 

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