Area Theatre Troupe in New Video, Article

Ontario Arts Council features 4th Line Theatre in impact of arts series

Photo by Marlon Hazlewood.

The reach of the arts extends beyond its own community.

That’s the message being promoted by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), which is using 4th Line Theatre as one source to tell that story.

The theatre group in Millbrook is part of the OAC’s newly-launched video series. Called The Ripple Effect, the initiative explores how artists and arts organizations have an extended impact on community. For example, art is contributing in areas including job training, local tourism and community health.

“The story centres on 4th Line’s work celebrating local and rural heroes, and how this translates into tourism and other unique opportunities for the surrounding community.”

On Feb. 12 the OAC launched the video and article featuring 4th Line Theatre.

“The story centres on 4th Line’s work celebrating local and rural heroes, and how this translates into tourism and other unique opportunities for the surrounding community,” the OAC says.

The arts organization has published both the video and the article on their website and has begun rolling out corresponding Facebook and Twitter posts.

“For almost three decades, 4th Line Theatre has celebrated the lives of rural Ontarians while bringing vital tourism dollars into the community,” the OAC says.

The story of 4th Line Theatre began in 1990, when playwright/actor/director Robert Winslow inherited his family’s 180-year-old farm in Millbrook. While Robert cherished the property, he didn’t have the money to set up a working farm. He decided to start a theatre company, which would allow him to keep the property.

At that time, Robert had already been working on a play set in 1800s-era Cavan-Monaghan, centred on historical conflicts between local Catholic and Protestant settlers. “By turning the farm into a theatre venue, the play could not only be set locally, but staged locally — and this became 4th Line Theatre’s first production, Cavan Blazers,” the OAC says.

Winslow Farm by Marlon Hazlewood.

Since then, every summer more than 17,000 people visit the Millbrook-Cavan area, the vast majority coming — and then coming back again — for the 4th Line Theatre experience.

Arts and culture tourists spend more and stay longer than other tourists, according to the OAC. The average Ontario arts/culture tourist spends twice as much per trip as a typical tourist ($667 per trip versus $374) and stays more than one night longer (4.4 nights in Ontario versus 3.1).

Click here to read more about 4th Line Theatre’s impact in the OAC’s article.

Photos courtesy of 4th Line Theatre.

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