A gorgeous renovated 19th century former Baptist church in the Fernwood neighborhood of Victoria is home to the Belfry; a professional not for profit theatre company. The company has produced hundreds of plays since 1976, emphasizing contemporary Canadian work and artists.
The church was constructed between 1887 and 1892 and is now listed in the heritage registry. The company rented the main theatre area in the building and shared space with other tenants from its inception into the 1990’s, then mounted several ambitious fund raising campaigns to secure the funds to purchase and renovate the building. The restoration was completed in 2000, winning a number of awards.
Over the last 30 years the Belfry has produced hundreds of plays, including 150 Canadian plays and more than 32 premieres, several of which have gone on to acclaim across the country as well as internationally. These productions regularly tour Canada and have won awards in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
Like many not for profit organizations, The Belfry relies on a large group of dedicated volunteers, some of whom have been involved since the beginning. A volunteer Board of Directors is the governing body for the theatre company.
The Belfry’s yearly calendar sees the production of up to twelve plays, one or two summer projects, a four play Mainstage series and a mid-winter festival – SPARK, which brings innovative and alternative work from across Canada. This schedule accomodates the mission of the Belfry Theatre Company which is producing theatre that “generates ideas and dialogue, and that makes the audience see the world a little differently”.
Ticket prices at The Belfry are very reasonable, with further savings for season ticket holders. The organization has even reduced ticket prices for the 2010-2011 season to defray costs associated with the newly instituted HST.
With that sort of thoughtful gesture, the Belfry Theatre will surely continue to provide those living in Victoria and their guests with quality entertainment for the forseeable future.