They could have gone with a simple design, but in true Caravan Farm Theatre fashion, they wanted to create a masterpiece.
Funding is nearly complete for Caravan Farm Theatre’s new decagonal barn. With a public opening planned for Dec. 10 at 2 p.m., artistic and managing director Estelle Shook said the barn will play home to the Theatre’s horse-drawn carriages for the winter performance and act as a signature piece for future wedding and event opportunities.
“When people see the project, they’ll see how special it is. It really showcases the big horses in our winter show,” Shook said and added that, of the 10 pens within the barn, one will be a dedicated viewing bay. “You just don’t see that many horses working together in one show. It’s incredibly unique.”
The project took root in 2015 but, given the Theatre’s non-profit status, fundraising has been a slow process.
“Just about everything we make goes towards programming. It takes a lot to invest in a capital project,” Shook said. “It’s just been a really long slag, but enough pieces fell into place.”
Caravan is in the process of installing a new roof, valued at about $21,000, donated by Kal Tire. Made largely of scrap tires, Shook said the roof is an opportunity for the Theatre to discuss the importance of recycled and sustainable building materials.
“So far we’ve just had tremendous community support and lots of strong grassroots support. It’s really been magical,” Shook said.
Volunteer work has been at the forefront of the estimated $100,000 project, of which about $70,000 has been raised. Renowned barn builder Michael Thomas, who works with the Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition, has been at the core of designing and supporting the project since its inception.
The project is now in the last push for funding. Shook said they hope to raise an additional $30,000 to cap it off. Donations can be made in person at the barn, by mail or online at caravanfarmtheatre.com.
“It will be a really special project,” Shook said. “We’re just super excited to be able to unveil this building.”