By David F. Rooney
Miriam Manley brings what amounts to a lifetime of experience in the arts — particularly theatre — to her new role as the Performing Arts Centre’s new manager.
Born into a theatrical English family (her mother, Jennifer Granville is an actress and her father, Andrew Manley, is an artistic director) she cut her artistic teeth early on in life acting in family pantomimes.
Manley has worked extensively in the arts in the United Kingdom and in Canada and has travelled widely. She and her partner, Jeff Bolingbroke, have been here a year. Jeff is Parks Canada’s Internet Content Officer.
“I’ve been trying to get a job in my field and it wasn’t easy,” she said in an interview. She worked for a while at the Modern and, more recently, at Wild Flight Farms out in Mara.
So when the 29-year-old Manley heard the Performing Arts Centre needed a manager she quickly dusted off her resume and applied for the job. She brings some impressive credentials to the job. She was employed in the production of web-based media for the TimesOnline website in the UK. Prior to that she co-produced and worked on documentaries for the Community Channel, Maya Vision International and for UNICEF television in New York. She has also been involved in the running of key events in the women’s cultural and political calendar in the UK, including organizing a series of seminars for women politicians in the UK Parliament and working for a female MP. Here in Canada she was employed as a line producer of The Banff Centre’s Interactive Project Lab and Women in the Director’s Chair program.
Managing the new PAC is, therefore, a natural for her.
It offers her both opportunities and challenges, but Manley focuses on the positive, rather than the negative.
“I like to think about the opportunities,” she said. “At the moment I really want to put it out there that the facility is there for the community. I have some ideas about things to put on, but my time is really pretty limited for the next while.”
Manley has to build development of a website for the PAC, book performances (including a planned performance by a Cambodian troupe), concerts and other events.
Meanwhile, School District 19 has approved a set of core principles and a final set of fees for the Performing Arts Centre. Click here to read those documents.