Every year, since Rainbow Stage began in 1954, thousands of Winnipeggers, Manitobans and visitors from across Canada have been coming to enjoy the musical theatre experience, including in recent years, visitors from the US and beyond.
They’ve been treated to live musical theatre in Winnipeg’s beautiful Kildonan Park, an experience that’s become a Manitoba tradition passed down through the generations. As those at Rainbow Stage like to say, they are in the business of making memories for generations.
However, many of these wonderful and dedicated visitors do not know Rainbow Stage is a non-profit governed by a volunteer board of directors, or that they have a budding educational component as a big part of their mandate.
In fact, two new educational programs kicked off the 2016 summer season; the Musical Theatre Conference and the Rainbow Stage summer camp.
Rainbow Stage is dedicated to the development of Manitoba talent on stage, in the orchestra pit and behind the scenes, through programs on design, choreography, and technical aspects.
These latest programs are stepping it up a notch by going to the source of where those passions stem from — helping budding art enthusiasts see the heights they can take their amazing talents to.
Rainbow Stage was able to introduce the Musical Theatre Conference with support from patrons, Great-West Life and the MTS Futures First program.
These contributions helped to bring this larger than life idea into existence, whereby students and school administrators from across Manitoba were invited to come and participate in workshops delving into wardrobe, sets, lighting, choreography, song and script-writing as well as performance skills and arts administration.
The response was hundreds of wide-eyed, excited and engaged young people with a newly instilled knowledge they have the genuine potential to pursue a multitude of different careers within not only musical theatre but traditional theatre as well.
With the large success of the conference in 2016, the 2017 conference is already seeing a large number of returning registrants.
Summer 2016 marked the exciting debut of Camp Rainbow with the generous support of the Winnipeg Foundation. In the age-old spirit of ‘learning through doing’ children age 9-13 participated in a series of week long day camps giving them an unforgettable summer experience.
Campers enjoyed first-class instruction by Rainbow Stage teaching artists who focused on singing, dancing and acting to help kids develop their artistic skills. While enjoying their time in Kildonan Park, the youth had the opportunity to learn about teamwork in an environment that enhanced their enthusiasm for musical theatre.
Rainbow Stage’s dedicated Education Committee has been able to provide a School Awards and Scholarships program to students and music teachers for their creativity, hard work and commitment to the musical theatre community.
The Committee is invited to attend dozens of school based musical theatre performances throughout Winnipeg and Manitoba’s middle to high schools. Driven by volunteers, the Committee will see dozens of shows and students over the course of six months.
With so much to see, it makes it difficult to narrow down the recipients of the awards but somehow each year they do. With this year already shaping up for the Committee to see dozens of amazing shows and students, the choice won’t get any easier.
This program is largely funded through the generous support from patrons without which it would be impossible to provide this wonderful opportunity for students across the province.
In 2016, through Rainbow Stage’s Community Support Program, 1,025 tickets were donated to countless not-for-profit community groups in Manitoba. Generous help from Federated Co-operatives Limited and wonderful patron support of this amazing outreach program provided tickets to audience members who want to attend a performance but do not have the means to do so. Together, a musical theatre experience for groups who share values of inclusivity and accessibility to everyone in our community.
Rainbow Stage is more than meets the eye on stage and behind the scenes. Working with a team of seven year-round staff who help bring these programs to life and then pass the execution of these programs onto hundreds of seasonal artists, musicians and production staff, Rainbow Stage will continue to bring a Uniquely Winnipeg – Definitely Broadway experience to all avid summer theatre goes for years to come.
Rainbow Stage is one of more than 185 charitable organizations that has an Agency Fund at The Winnipeg Foundation. An Agency Fund provides a sustainable source of income for a charity. Click here to learn more about organizations with agency funds.