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About

The Full Story

The Gabriola Theatre Centre was founded by Antony Holland who was instrumental in bringing live theatre to Gabriola in the 1990’s and continued to do so until he passed away in 2015. Move forward to 2023, and his eldest granddaughter Jasmine Howes has taken the reigns to lead the Gabriola Theatre Centre into a new era of live theatre and performance on the Isle of the Arts. Like her grandfather, Jasmine fully believes artists should be financially compensated for the tremendous work they do in showcasing their artistry. Performing artists work long hours to develop their craft and when the audience can witness their work, it creates a beautiful connection between the artist and the audience, thus creating community through experience. The Gabriola Theatre Centre is fortunate to have a small living space above the theatre to host artists in residence, this will enable the theatre centre to bring visiting artists to Gabriola to share their work through performance and workshops. We are over the moon to have you join us in this journey!

Gabriola Songs Society

The Gabriola Songs Society is the official non-profit for the Gabriola Theatre Centre. The purposes of the Gabriola Songs Society are to, organize events, festivals, gatherings, and other projects on Gabriola Island and elsewhere, to promote and support Gabriola's performing artists; to enable Gabriola’s performing artists to export their work and travel and tour abroad; to bring performing artists who do not reside on Gabriola to perform their work for the enjoyment of Gabriolans and to work with like minded individuals, groups, organizations and societies. 

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Artistic Director

Jasmine Howes moved to Gabriola Island in September 2021 with the dream of restarting the Theatre Centre which was created by her paternal grandfather Antony Holland. Two years later and that dream is fulfilled.  Jasmine brings a deep love of the theatre that sprouted when her grandfather took her regularly to theatre shows around Vancouver. It then started to bloom when, as a nine year old, Antony cast her in his production of MacBeth at Studio 58. In her teenage years Jasmine’s love of performance took the form of dance when she was fortunate enough to become part of the dance troupe formed by Jenny LeGon. Since then her theatre roots have remained dormant, but still very much alive, beneath the soil. Now they are ready to shoot forth as she re-opens the Gabriola Theatre Centre and prepares to begin a new era of theatre on the Island of the Arts.

Founder

Antony Holland lived and breathed theatre and was an inspiration for so many gifted actors. His passion for theatre began as a child and continued on throughout his lifetime. He loved to break theatre down to the bare bones so the real essence of a piece could reach the audience. He taught at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England, produced numerous productions during the Second World War, with fellow soldiers, directed inmates at the Haney Correctional Institute after coming to Canada, and founded Studio 58. He acted in professional  theatres throughout Canada and also had a lively film career. He also created several small theatre companies while continuing to act and create until the end of his life.  The Gabriola Theatre Centre was his final theatre home and a gift to the island. A way for Antony to easily showcase his latest work as “The Centre” was on his property, all he had to do was walk out the door. Antony ensured “The Centre’s” legacy by  applying to the Islands Trust  on Gabriola for “live theatre” to exist on his property and be part of the island bylaws.

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