The world’s only tall ship theatre is coming to the Sunshine Coast during Sea Cavalcade this year as part of a special Canada 150 event in Gibsons.
The Caravan Stage Company is now in the midst of taking apart its specially designed 90-foot tall ship in order to barge it through the Panama Canal and bring it back into Canadian waters, where it will be reassembled for the show set to run nightly July 26 to 29 in Gibsons.
The ship, the Amara Zee, is a fully rigged technologically enhanced tall ship that acts as a stage and backdrop for the performers who sing, dance, soar and drop between levels of rigging and the ship’s deck.
With music, light shows, acrobatic acts and more, the tall ship show is an impressive performance that has toured all over Canada, the U.S., Europe, the Balkans and the Medi-terranean, to rave reviews.
Originally started as the world’s first horse-drawn theatre company in 1970 in Victoria and Sooke, the travelling show morphed over the years to take to the seas and reach more audiences.
Audiences in Gibsons will be treated to four 75-minute nightly performances in Gibsons Harbour, where artists will show their original theatre performance Nomadic Tempest.
“Nomadic Tempest is a mythical saga of a band of monarch butterflies, forced to migrate due to climate change,” a release from the Caravan Stage Company states.
“The butterflies, embodied by four talented aerial artists, serve as a metaphor for today’s climate refugees. The monarchs are from four global regions: Salish Sea, Syria, China and Mexico, each with their own tongue: Hunqeminem, Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish.”
Songs will be performed in each of those languages during the tall ship show, while the English lyrics are projected as subtitles onto one of the sails.
Linda Williams, organizer of Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival, is also organizing the tall ship show and she’s excited to see the spectacular performance, “which is really topical and has a deep meaning.”
Cost for the show is $35,000, the bulk of which has been covered by the Town of Gibsons, the Sunshine Coast Regional District and a Canada 150 grant, Williams said, adding the Caravan Stage Company itself has offered a 50 per cent discount on the fee.
The funding help will keep ticket prices down. Guests will pay $25 for a bleacher seat to the show once they’re made available later this month on www.share-there.com and at the WOW Gallery in Gibsons, the Sechelt Visitor Centre, MELOmania in Roberts Creek and at the EarthFair Book Store in Pender Harbour.
Find out more about the Caravan Stage Company at www.carvanstage.org