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Chilliwack shines spotlight on provincial theatre festival

Best community theatre in B.C. coming to Chilliwack for week-long Mainstage Festival
From left: Charlie Honeyman as Peter, Krysandra Wilson as Iris, Jennifer Stevens as Sarah, and Mary Ellen Shimell as Bernice in a family-confrontation scene from The Chilliwack Players Guild’s production of ‘The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble.’ (Submitted by Chilliwack Players Guild)

An arts festival where folks will be able to see some of the best community theatre in the province is coming to Chilliwack.

Theatre BC's week-long Mainstage Festival 2024 runs July 1-6 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and one of Chilliwack's own theatre companies will be performing.

The festival is being hosted by the Chilliwack Players Guild, which will also be bringing its award-winning production the event.

“We are so excited to be hosting this prestigious and important event in our beautiful Cultural Centre,” said Mainstage Festival committee chair Clint Hames. “We are particularly pleased that the Chilliwack Players Guild has been selected to have an entry in the festival. This will be an amazing week celebrating the theatre arts.”

Theatre BC is made of regions – or zones – throughout the province. Mainstage Festival will feature the winning plays from six different zone festivals from across B.C. which represent the best in community theatre. There will be one show each night from July 1-6.

A professional adjudicator selected a winning production from each zone to proceed to Mainstage. The Chilliwack Players Guild won best production at the Fraser Valley Zone Festival in June for its production of The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble.

In addition to the performances, audiences are invited to stay for a short adjudication by festival adjudicator Joan MacLean, an actor, musician, director and teacher based in Vancouver. A bonus for interested audience members is the ‘Coffee Critique’ session held the next morning, where McLean and the previous night’s cast and director dive in for an in-depth discussion and potential working of scenes from the play. At the end of the week, McLean will announce awards for best production, acting, directing and other categories at a special luncheon event.

Here is the schedule for Mainstage Festival 2024 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre:

Monday, July 1: “Bachelorette“ by Stage North Theatre Society representing the Peace River

Tuesday, July 2: “The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble” by the Chilliwack Players Guild, representing the Fraser Valley

Wednesday, July 3: “Moonglow” by Pivot Theatre, representing the North Shore Zone

Thursday, July 4: “The Exquisite Hour” by Vernon Powerhouse, representing the Okanagan

Friday, July 5: “The Pillowman” by Portal Players of Port Alberni, representing the North Island

Saturday, July 6: “Tesseract” by the Kersley Players, representing the Central Interior

For tickets and information about the performances, go to or call 604-391-SHOW. In addition to individual show tickets, there are three-show and full-week passes available.

Mainstage 2024 also offers a variety of acting and directing workshops, led by professionals associated with the Arts Club of Vancouver. Registration for these is available via


Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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