NFLT’s Historic Transition to the Oso Hall

Two steps back at a time with giant leaps in the offing!!!
XXXAfter forty years of crowd-pleasing performances at Sharbot Lake High School, and more recently, at the Granite Ridge Education Centre, NFLT came to the decision earlier this year that the continued use of the school stage as our main venue was no longer viable. Reasons for this decision vary greatly and include new user fees that the Limestone District School Board put in place last year.
XXXNFLT remains grateful for the use of the school stage throughout all those years – initially formative in nature; ultimately developing into the well-oiled theatre machine we are today.
XXXWe would like to take this opportunity to thank the Limestone District School Board and the former Frontenac County Board of Education for their partnership in helping to promote the great community theatre that NFLT was able to deliver at our very own local school.
XXXOn November 12th, 2019, we requested township support in terms of next steps concerning our decision to leave GREC, and floated the idea of adopting the Oso Hall as our new venue. Council reacted favourably and waived user fees for a trial production at the hall (which was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid 19).
XXXOn June 23, 2020, we presented Central Frontenac Township Council a formal proposal:
“We approach council as a long serving community theatre in search of a new performance venue that would provide us financial security, stability and the assurance of the future of our proud institution.”
XXXWe were ecstatic when Council unanimously agreed to allow us use of the hall on a permanent basis in return for NFLT supplying theatre lights, some improvements to the facility for the benefit of all and live theatre twice a year.
XXXWe have excitedly been preparing for the first phase of our transition: the mounting of our theatre lights. Jeff Siamon, Derek Redmond and Fred Barrett drew up installation plans and are in talks with township building inspector Andy Dillon concerning installation.
XXXValley Plumbing of Perth sold us the 21 foot pipes with clevis hangers necessary to hang the lights, adding a special nod to community volunteerism with a $75 credit to NFLT.
XXXAs with many large-scale transitions of this nature, there are setbacks. We have recently discovered that our theatre light installation will cost much more than we had projected because of unforeseen problems including the need for a new electrical panel and overhead conductors to accommodate the lights.
XXXAs well, we had planned on doing a lot of the work ourselves, under the supervision of the building and electrical inspectors, only to find we require the special Work Safety Insurance to work on site (along with our present liability insurance).
XXXNeedless to say, NFLT has been busy sorting out these impasses and looking for a way forward. Brian Robertson and Jeff Siamon continue to hash things out with township building inspector, Andy Dillon.
XXXMember at large, Art Holloway, is investigating the world of community grants to help provide the additional money needed for the project. Jan Levitt, secretary, is investigating coverage with WSIB.
XXXAnd the rest of the executive, including President Pamela Giroux, and Angela Cowdy, member at large, are continuing with cleaning and dusting the 50 plus theatre lights in our collection, so all will be ready to go after overcoming the latest hurdles.
I mean, the show must go on, right?!? Stay tuned for further developments!
Submitted by Brian Robertson

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