After Artword Artbar

After Artword Artbar

In 2019, Artword Artbar was in its tenth year. We were ready for new challenges. We started to consider selling.

Just then, in June, an agent phoned with an ideal offer. A Hamilton architectural design company, SMPL, wanted our very building for its home office. They knew exactly what they would do and how much they wanted to pay. In September, we announced that Artword would close in November.

On November 15, we had an evening devoted to our theatre productions. On November 16 and 17, The Hill Brothers played two farewell concerts (the first sold out in a couple of hours).

Just then, David and Marlaise Dawson, of Gallery on the Bay asked us if we wanted to collaborate on producing theatre. We had already co-produced two of David’s plays, MacBush: The Musical and The Decision. We agreed.

We started with a script of David’s, Walter: My Name is Walter James Cross and I Have Schizophrenia. We found a promising space, Saint Andrew’s Hall at Saint Peter’s Presbyterian Church. We brought in lighting and sound equipment, and banners to reduce the echo.

The show was closed a day early, due to Covid-19. Fortunately, Gabe Etele had done an excellent video and sound recording of one performance, and we were able to turn this into an excellent feature-length video.

We can’t believe our good fortune in selling Artword Artbar just before the pandemic hit. A friend asked me to buy lottery tickets for him.