Awards in the arts may be unexpected at times, but for Theatre by the Bay they are greatly appreciated and may need to come with a larger trophy case.
It was a banner year for the local arts company as they reeled in a handful of awards in 2019.
Theatre by the Bay is closing in on 20 years of providing the city with entertainment through comedy, drama and history.
Artistic director Iain Moggach tells BarrieToday he was very proud of his team this year and hopes the award-issuing organizations know how much it means.
“It was very cool to get the validation as a company,” Moggach said. “Our team works so hard to bring the best performances we can to the city and to receive awards that show the hard work paying off is so motivational.”
This year, Theatre by the Bay has won awards for heritage, innovation, tourism and more.
Moggach says he loves all the recognition, especially from areas he didn’t think would happen.
“The heritage award is really special to us,” he said. “It is handed out to those are helping preserve the history of the city and that isn’t something we really thought of when we began doing productions on past wars and the local people who gave their lives for them.”
Moggach also won the Young Professional of the Year at the Barrie Business Awards last month, an award he waited a little while to get.
“I had been nominated the previous two years and finally won, which was a great feeling,” he said. “I believe also that I was the first person from the arts community to get it, which says so much about how great the arts community is doing in Barrie.”
Theatre by the Bay has produced plays on past wars that told the stories of local soldiers and nurses who were there and shows that were of more recent Barrie events.
Northern Lights was a comedic look at 2004 marijuana grow-up bust at the old Molson Brewery.
Moggach says 2020 will have some more of what made the company successful and even a first for Theatre by the Bay.
“We will be doing a story on a very significant event in the community, one that everyone knows,” he said. “We will also be doing our first musical, which we are all very excited about, and nervous to be honest.”
Moggach admits wanting to make Theatre by the Bay get a little “cheeky” with their plays and doing stories on the community that everyone will recognize, but not necessarily following the rules of history. He also says the awards recognition will only make he and his team work harder.
"Anyone who thinks we have peaked, I would say it is quite the opposite," he said. "This was just laying the foundation and we will use this to make the arts even bigger in our community."
For anyone looking to support Theatre by the Bay, you can get tickets for the annual Stars Come Out at the website starting on Monday, Dec. 2.