December 14, 2023, Almonte, Mississippi Mills: Spinning Yarns: The Millworkers’ Musical that played to sell-out audiences during a half-a-dozen performances in Almonte in November raised more than $13,000 for the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM).
“I couldn’t be more pleased,” says Michael Rikley-Lancaster, Executive Director/Curator of the MVTM and also Executive Producer of the show. “It’s wonderful that we were able to raise such a significant amount of money for the museum. But equally important is that we shared important information about the history of our community and the people who lay the foundation for what it is today. Audiences left the show having been entertained, informed and delighted.”
Spinning Yarns: The Millworkers’ Musical, written by beloved playwright Fern Martin, directed by Humm Team Productions’ Kris Riendeau and produced by Barb Dickson, was an undisputed ‘smash hit.’ Close to eleven hundred people saw the musical during its six-show run between November 17th and 26th, thus generating excellent revenues through ticket sales, 50/50 draws and a donation box at each of the performances.
“We had a large cast and crew comprising forty-eight volunteers in total,” says producer Dickson, “All of them, without exception, put in countless hours of hard work to make the production the amazing success that it was. We also had the support of close to a dozen generous sponsors.”
The Hub and Rebound, Michael and Kathleen Novak, LD Tool & Die, Levi Home Hardware, The Old Mill Manor, Always Beautifully Creative, J.B. Arts, Bjork Photography, Equator Coffee, Isobel Marks and Marilyn Snedden together sponsored the production for a combined total of more than $4,000 in cash and in kind.
Furthermore, the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre ran the canteen and made $1,095.02 in profits for the Centre.
“All of this success really speaks to the vital role amateur theatre plays in Mississippi Mils and communities everywhere,” says director Riendeau. “Besides being a source of entertainment, productions such as this support other community activities, increase awareness of local businesses and professional services through their sponsorship, create connections, raise money for worthwhile causes, encourage volunteering, enable storytelling, attract tourists, feature local talent and more. Plus, they’re just plain fun!”
Playwright Martin echoed the sentiments of the production team.
“It was thrilling to see my script brought to life by this incredible team of close to fifty people,” Martin said. “It meant a lot to me to have the story of Almonte told with such energy, enthusiasm and talent. The fact that a lot of money was raised for the museum and the Youth Centre is icing on the cake.”