Charles Bailey Theatre: Renovations and big show lead off new season

Canadian icon Bryan Adams will bring his Bare Bones acoustic tour to the Greater Trail Community Centre on Feb. 24.

The Trail and District Arts Council (TDAC) has only recently submitted its proposal for a new business plan for the venerable Charles Bailey Theatre but the council and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) have already stepped up its game for the coming concert season.

Canadian icon Bryan Adams will bring his Bare Bones acoustic tour to the Greater Trail Community Centre on Feb. 24.

As well known as Adams may be, the process of booking an artist of this kind of renown for a town the size of Trail was no small effort, according to Mark Daines, manager of facilities and recreation for the RDKB.

“We started making contact with some of the booking agencies to see what kind of acts might be available,” Daines said. “I started a dialog with Live Nation (a major U.S. live events and concert promotion company) and we had a lot of back and forth, whether it fits on the tour, fit with their plan and numbers.

“Basically from their perspective they wanted to nail down venues along the tour route.”

Although the $113 ticket price may potentially be the highest ever charged for a show at the Charles Bailey, Daines says he thinks it’s well worth the price considering the artist.

“For this venue, the intimacy of a solo show like this, the price is reasonable,” he said. “Bryan Adams appeals to a much broader range of market than some of the acts that we’ve had in. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing off the hook since we announced the show.”

And that’s good news to attract people to the recently-renovated venue.

“We’ve made a number of improvements,” said Daines. “We’ve replaced the sound equipment and brought in some really impressive new LED stage lighting. We’re working on the mandate to bring it up into the 21st Century.”

In addition to the technical aspects of the theatre, there is new carpeting and paint, including some speciality imported gold paint that has been used in some accents and trim.

Although bringing in a name artist is a step in the right direction for the theatre, TDAC front house manager, Nadine Tremblay, is hoping approval of their business plan may lead to even more traffic through the theatre.

“Bookings are down for locals and groups using the theatre,” said Tremblay. “We’re trying to get the rent reduced. That was identified as the number one concern on renters minds in the survey we conducted for the new business plan.”

In addition to lowering rent the new TDAC business plan is focusing on bringing the theatre more prominently into the public’s awareness.

“We have a marketing and promotion strategy, possibly hire someone on a part-time basis to handle that,” Tremblay said. “It’s really important to increase the usage of the theatre.”

Tickets for the Bryan Adams concert go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. at the Charles Bailey Theatre box office with a limit of two per person.