This year the Arts Centre & Theatre - The ACT - celebrates its 10th season of arts and culture in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Offering consistently good quality, interesting programs that are worth coming to see is the goal that executive director Lindy Sisson has as she plans the entertainment lineup for Maple Ridge's premier arts and cultural facility.
"What you hope as a programmer [is that] people start to trust your choices," Sisson said of the yearly entertainment choices made by The ACT staff.
Sisson, who came to The ACT in January 2009, is visibly proud of the facility that was built 10 years ago as a venue for arts programming, and while she knows it's not the same calibre as the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver or a casino, with 500 seats, The ACT can offer good shows at an easily accessible venue.
"[The community] built this so you don't have to go downtown," she said.
Sisson considers The ACT an asset for economic development as well.
But mainly, she believes that the arts can give people an outlook on life they wouldn't see during their everyday experiences.
Exposing children and youth to cultural performances is a priority for Sisson. That is why student ticket prices are kept at $15 for any show.
"I really believe it's important for youth, for children to come [to The ACT]," she said.
The ACT is offering arts in all genres this year: film - the Golden Ears Movie Series - comedy, dance, theatre, variety shows, classical - and a circus, the Golden Dragon Acrobats from China.
"[During a] 10th anniversary, you want to have a circus," Sisson said.
Sisson wants the programming at The ACT to be a combination of tradition - popular perennials like the Remembrance Day Dal Richards concert, Winter Harp, and Ballet Jorgen - and fresh, cutting-edge performers, for example, Bouge de la and B.C. Beats.
Because of the size of the theatre, The ACT can't afford to book really big names, but Sisson said she tries to get performers who are on the rise or some who are making a comeback like 54.40, who will perform on Feb. 15.
On Sept. 29, The ACT will host a Canada Culture Day celebration to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of The ACT from 1 to 4 p.m..
In addition to recognizing volunteers and instructors, there will be arts program demonstrations and workshops, entertainment and arts group displays, food sampling and a cake, and magician Shawn Farquhar at 4 p.m. Tickets for the Canada Culture Day are $20 for adults and seniors, and $10 for children and students.
The full lineup for the 10th season at The ACT can be found at www.theactmapleridge.org.