For the mother-daughter duo Christy and Hannah, opening Theatre Baddeck was an opportunity to connect with previous generations of their family who made Baddeck, Nova Scotia home.
Christy grew up in Truro but spent summers in Baddeck with her father’s side of the family. During the summers, she spent time with her extended family swimming, and enjoying what Cape Breton had to offer. It was during that time that she was exposed to the rich history of Cape Breton storytelling.
“That was my life, my father telling the same stories over and over again,” said Christy. “But we sat around and told stories and that’s what I fell asleep to each night.”
Carrying on the tradition, Christy grew up to become a storyteller through her work as an actor. She lived and worked across Canada, Europe and Australia. For her, however, there was something special about Cape Breton, specifically Baddeck, making it the clear place to open a theatre with her daughter Hannah.
“There is actually something quite magical about Cape Breton Island,” said Christy. “There is something about this place that is second to none.”
Christy and Hannah launched Theatre Baddeck’s first season in 2015, with a play they co-wrote entitled The Young Ladies of Baddeck Club. They wanted to provide the community and its summer tourists with an incredible theatre experience.
“Places that have a tourism economy like here are so well supported by great entertainment in the evening,” said Hannah. “That’s why we think that the show that launched us had success, because it was rooted in the history of this place, and people were keen to be immersed in local culture and I think that’s what theatre has the power to do.”
The support Christy and Hannah got from Support4Culture gave them confidence in their contributions to the community in Baddeck and the rest of Nova Scotia.
“Because Nova Scotia Gaming has Support4Culture, we get to tell transformative stories through live professional theatre,” said Hannah. “They inspire confidence in us that the government believes there is value in what we do.”