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Bradford Arts Centre sends out an S.O.S. for new board members

Arts Centre is looking for volunteers, new performers, interested artists for the coming year
Bradford Arts Centre is located inside the Bradford United Church, but is an independent group. A view of the church last year, before a new information sign was installed. Miriam King/BradfordToday

When the Bradford Arts Centre first opened, there was some confusion in both the artistic community, and the community at large.

Explained Bill Jermyn, current director, “A lot of people believed it was the United Church.”

Although the centre is located within the church at 66 Barrie St. in Bradford, to take advantage of the magnificent acoustics created by the combination of 100-year-old wood and plaster, and a new sound system, “It isn’t the United Church,” Jermyn said.

The church has made its facility available to local artists, a partnership to create a centre for community engagement, creativity and the arts. The Bradford Arts Centre itself merged with the existing Bradford Fine Arts Group, to present concerts featuring emerging and local musicians  and artists.

Currently, the Centre is planning a winter concert – and sending out an S.O.S. to the community for volunteers interested in serving on its Board, and helping out with its programming.

“Over the last two years, members have dropped off the board,” said Jermyn. “We are now looking for new board members.”

In particular, the Bradford Arts Centre/Bradford Fine Arts Group is looking for someone with a marketing background – “A person that can create the posters, do on-line advertising,” Jermyn said – as well as someone with the knowledge to connect with musicians and local talent, to encourage greater use of the facility; and someone with sound system experience, who can help with set-up.

“Our main focus is to provide a space for local talent to perform, and on occasion bring in talent from outside the Region,” Jermyn said. “I would like to see more local performers, I would like to see a children’s series – the acoustics are excellent! There’s no other place in town that has these acoustics.”

But to keep the centre going, and to reach out to the community, volunteers are needed. How many? “As many as are interested,” said Jermyn. “To me, the more hands, the less work people have to do. Everyone is welcomed.”

And although he is currently heading up the Board, he’s also looking for “somebody who eventually would like to lead it.”

Jermyn prefers a less prominent role. “I like to help behind the scenes,” he said.

Meanwhile, he and the Bradford Fine Arts Group are working on the Winter Wonderland Concert, which will be taking place at the Centre on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., featuring performances by Alexandrina, Bruce Dixon and John Montgomery, Laurie LeBlanc, the band Front Porch Harmonies, and The Goldenaires Choir. Admission will be by donation.

To get involved in the Bradford Arts Centre, help it to grow, or to arrange a performance at the Centre, contact Bill Jermyn at 905-775-5855 or [email protected].


Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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