St. John’s, NL – The Board of Directors of Wonderbolt Productions is pleased to announce two expanding directions for its 36 year old company as the Company continues to build its artistic and circus presence in Newfoundland and Labrador. The first is the acquisition of a permanent downtown space for its and other community productions; the second is its expanded program into rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Studio for Physical Arts and Circus Entertainment (the SPACE) The SPACE at 72 Harbour Drive in downtown St. John’s, which Wonderbolt Productions acquired in July 2015 as the permanent performing home for the Company, has been renovated over the past year. Today, this recreational and training facility is used for Wonderbolt’s Circus rehearsals, camps, workshops, training sessions, and meetings; various types of yoga and aerial classes and community artistic and cultural events.
During the past year, the SPACE was professionally designed and completely refurbished as a high grade performing facility with outstanding décor. Wheelchair accessible, the SPACE provides parking, is certified to hold up to 149 people and has recently been granted a NL Liquor Corporation recreational liquor license, so that adult artistic and cultural groups can use the facility and offer pre or post-event alcohol beverages.
Today, the SPACE is one of the few downtown medium sized community halls with available parking for artistic and cultural events. Already the SPACE is being used by outside groups such as the St. John’s International Film Festival, Neighbourhood Dance Works, Seraka Dance, Pope Film Productions, Ifly aerial yoga and others.
The Rigolet Project Wonderbolt Productions has been operating throughout the province for more than 36 years. A key focus of the Company has been to bring portable circus skills to rural and remote areas that have limited access to this type of entertaining and creative physical activity. In the past, Wonderbolt has established circus clubs in such communities as Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River, NL and Sheshatshiu in Labrador. This winter the Company expanded its program to include communities within Nunatsiavut beginning with Rigolet on the Labrador coast. During February and April Beni Malone, Wonderbolt’s Executive and Artistic Director, and Ruth Laurence, an award winning cultural artist, spent several weeks in Rigolet working with school students. Students were taught skills in creative movement, costume, make-up, mime and a variety of circus arts. During February coaching of these skills were also taught to teachers so they could maintain the circus clubs in Wonderbolt’s absence using the equipment donated by Wonderbolt to the community. In April the final week culminated with a public performance for the community with each student showcasing their learned skills. Beni and his company will continue working with other coastal Labrador communities in the coming years establishing similar circus clubs. This project received financial support from the Canada Council, International Grenfell Association (IGA) and Telus Atlantic Canada Community Board. Details about the SPACE and the Nunatsiavut project can be found on Wonderbolt’s website: http://www.wonderbolt.ca/ . If you would like a tour of the SPACE, please contact Beni at 728-1819.