(FRASER LAKE) Last year, Emily Lindstrom was far away from her hometown of Fraser Lake and feeling helpless as her neighbourhood was being evacuated because of wildfires.

Now the UVic Theatre Program graduate is getting a chance to give back to her community as she makes a musical homecoming with Theatre Royal’s Phoenix Tour. Lindstrom is the Stage Manager for the tour, which performs in Fraser Lake on May 8.

And it looks like the community is getting ready to welcome her back with open arms.

“My dad has been approached by mechanics, loggers and random people on the street telling him they have seen my photo on Facebook and already bought tickets,” says Lindstrom, who graduated from the Theatre Program specializing in Production and Management.

Lindstrom was working in Victoria in the summer of 2017 when the flames forced the folks in Fraser Lake to evacuate. So she’s really looking forward to help put a smile on the faces of friends and family.

“Last year I was a whole world away from my community that was pulling together during a long and smoky summer,” says Lindstrom, who is in her second season with Theatre Royal.

“It’s truly special that my first job out of university allows me to return to my hometown, giving back in a small way and to give them a fabulous show with the Theatre Royal.”

The show in Fraser Lake is one of a number of performances that the Phoenix Tour (produced by Barkerville’s Theatre Royal) is staging along Highway 16. Other performances are scheduled in Burns Lake and Vanderhoof.

The tour was conceived by producer Richard Wright of the Newman & Wright Theatre Company as a way to show that the Cariboo and Interior is open for visitation after back-to-back, record-setting fire seasons. It’s a celebration of the region’s resilience.

“Many Interior communities like Fraser Lake have always rebounded from adversity and like Barkerville after the fire of 1868, they have always risen from the ashes like the legendary Phoenix to rebuild and prosper,” said Wright.

“We’re delighted that we can bring Emily home and give the folks in Fraser Lake something to smile about and maybe sing along.”

The tour’s core is “Mrs. McGinley’s Gold Rush Variety Show.” Set in 1869, it features songs and dances suitable for the entire family. From farcical comedy to a poignant song from home to rousing dance numbers, the performance will bring a smile to the faces of audience members and get their toes tapping.

The show is sponsored by the Community Resilience Through Arts and Culture program (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture), Barkerville Gold Mines, New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS), the Friends of Barkerville Cariboo Goldfields Historical Society, Barkerville Historic Town & Park and Frog on the Bog/Mountain Thyme/St.George Hotel.

For a sneak preview, check out this video clip of the 2017 performance of “Mrs. McGinley’s Gold Rush Variety Show” staged at Theatre Royal in Barkerville Historic Town & Park. For updates and other information, please visit the Theatre Royal Facebook page.

The project partners gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

Communications support for the tour is being provided by NPTGS, a non-profit organization committed to developing local economies in the Hope to Barkerville corridor through heritage tourism development, First Nations reconciliation and Multiculturalism. For more information, please visit the NPTGS website.

About New Pathways To Gold Society (NPTGS)

NPTGS is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation working with communities along the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor from Hope to Barkerville. The Society is dedicated to heritage tourism, First Nations reconciliation and economic development. NPTGS acknowledges the financial support of the B.C. government.

For more information, please contact:
Don Hauka, Communications/Creative Director
ddclauka@shaw.ca  |  604.524.1884