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Sylvan Lake Theatre Trail named best summer event

The Sylvan Lake Theatre Trail was named the number one summer event in the Best of Sylvan Awards
Paul Sutherland (left) and Matthew Taylor (right) perform in 2 Bros at the Beach by Improv Jelly during the Sylvan Lake Theatre Trail. (photo provided by Tanya Ryga and the Sylvan Lake Theatre)
Sylvan Lake's Theatre Trail was named the best summer event in the year's Best of Sylvan Lake Awards. 
Sylvan Lake Theatre has a lot of dedicated fans that help it thrive, artistic director Tanya Ryga said. 
"The group is in the entertainment business and they have attracted a following through social media, word of mouth, the participants and from those who just love theatre."
When the Best of Sylvan contest first began, the marketer for Sylvan Lake Theatre, Norene Reaume, reached out to the growing group of 'friends of theatre' to encourage them to vote for the Theatre Trail, she added. 
Being named the gold winner means everything to the Sylvan Lake Theatre. 
"It indicates that the community of Sylvan Lake wants and supports the idea of having a theatre group and specifically enjoys the Theatre Trail project.  So that's very humbling!  Especially since there are so many fantastic events and attractions to enjoy all summer long," Ryga said. 
Being named the best summer event also encourages the group to work even harder to fulfill its mandate, she added. 
"The company's mandate is "to be an excellent, vibrant and highly valued theatre for Sylvan Lake and area." 
The Sylvan Lake Theatre is a community theatre, run by volunteers and relies on ticket sales and public funding through grants and local sponsorship to keep going. 
"This public recognition is a ringing endorsement for the young theatre that will help it find sponsorship and financial support for the upcoming Theatre Trail. Also, people who have not yet attended a Theatre Trail may see the promotion  and think 'Best summer event?' I'm going to check that out," Ryga said. 
For this year's upcoming Theatre Trail, there will be something different happening each weekend. 
"Weekend one is the Downtown Theatre Trail and weekend two is the Family Theatre Trail," Ryga said. 
The Downtown Theatre Trail on Sept. 7 and 8 will feature four short plays presented in pop-up venues hosted by different Sylvan Lake businesses suitable for people aged 14 and older. 
"The comedies, dramas and adventures are written by local playwrights specifically using the unique qualities of each location to inspire the action. It’s called site-specific theatre and it is an immersive and very fun experience," Ryga said.
"Starting at Lions Club Hall storytellers will lead the audience groups progressively from show to show while sharing a story derived from Sylvan Lake’s colourful history. Some of it is even true," she added.
The trail start times will occur at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. 
"Each trail is a two-hour event and people can choose one of any of the trail start times daily to see it all," Ryga said.  
The Family Theatre Trail which is still a working title will take place on Sept. 14 and 15. 
"It is an around-the-world dramatic adventure in story, theatre and song.  Suitable for ages 5-105 the second 'Trail' weekend has been created in response to the number of requests for family-friendly theatre," Ryga said. 
"Thanks to the generosity of the Sylvan Lake Golf and Country Club, Duffer's Den will be magically transformed into a theatre venue ready to dazzle Sylvan Lake children and their families," she added. 
Tickets for this year's Theatre Trail will go on sale on Aug. 1 and will be available to purchase on the website, 

Sarah Baker

About the Author: Sarah Baker

I joined Black Press in March 2023 and am looking forward to sharing stories about the local communities.
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