Theatre Royal in Barkerville. (Photo courtesy Barkerville Historic Town)

Quesnel-area theatre gets royal treatment from gold company

Osisko shines a golden spotlight on Barkerville attraction

The curtain will rise early, this year, at the Theatre Royal.

Barkerville Historic Town & Park is excited to announce that previews of their new family-friendly variety show will launch June 3rd.

“This development is made possible due to a generous donation made by Osisko Development and Osisko Gold Royalties, as well as personal contributions that were made by senior Osisko executives, Chris Lodder and Sean Roosen, bringing the total to $80,000,” said Stewart Cawood, Barkerville’s manager of public programming and media. “This allows Barkerville to call its performers back to work early for rehearsals, and also covers costs for script development, music composition, and seasonal salaries for the theatre’s talented musicians.”

Cawood called the donation “a big game-changer for this season” and averts a fate the Barkerville performance community was worried would hold over yet another year after the pandemic.

“When we reopened the theatre in 2022, we were only able to do so on July 1st,” Cawood explained, which was a month after the main gates opened to the public. Crowds of people were streaming past a theatre that couldn’t open, due to financial constraints.

“It was looking like we would have to do the same this year,” Cawood said. “Thanks to Chris, Sean and the Osisko companies, we can start previewing our new show to audiences when we open the doors on June 3rd.”

It’s not the first time that gold miners have made sure the doors were open and the stage was in proper use, in Barkerville. Kate Cox, CEO of Barkerville Historic Town & Park, added, “Since 1868, the Theatre Royal has been the heart of Barkerville’s gold rush community, sustained by successful and famous gold miners who craved entertainment as a reprieve from the Cariboo’s harsh living and working circumstances. Through their support, Osisko is following in those footsteps by supporting the community’s tourism, arts, and culture economy, employing 13 professional historical interpreters, accelerating the growth of ancillary programs and businesses, and bringing Barkerville’s magic to an estimated 40,000-plus visitors.”

Chris Lodder, President of Osisko Development commented, “It is a real pleasure to continue to support Barkerville Historic Town & Park and watch it grow into the diverse, sustainable, economic fabric that has been developing in the Wells, Barkerville, Bowron Lakes region of the Cariboo.”

Shows at the Theatre Royal will launch on June 3rd each day at 2 p.m., with dark days on Thursdays through the month of June. Performances will move to seven days a week after the Dominion Day festivities on July 1st.

READ MORE: 100 days of Barkerville

READ MORE: Barkerville trust thanks Wells gold mine for providing $500K funding boost

Live theatreQuesnel