September 13, 2005
(Innovation, Trade and Rural Development)

IBP supports Spirit of Newfoundland Productions efforts in international competition

The Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, through the Ireland Business Partnerships (IBP), has provided $10,000 to Spirit of Newfoundland Productions Limited to assist in their participation in an international musical theatre competition in Ireland.

The troupe is scheduled to perform September 20 at the Waterford International Light Opera Festival. Spirit of Newfoundland, which was the only Canadian entry selected for the competition, will perform the award winning Broadway production Nunsense. The performers include Shelley Neville, Kelly Ann Evans, Sheila Williams, Petrina Bromley, Cheri Carroll, Peter Halley, Sean Carroll, Steve Power, and George Morgan. This marks Spirit of Newfoundland�s first competition on an international level.

�Supporting artistic and cultural endeavors is important to economic development,� said Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Minister responsible for the Ireland Business Partnerships. �Innovation in industry is key to diversifying and expanding our economic base, and companies like Spirit of Newfoundland Productions are an excellent example of this. We wish them well in Ireland.�

�This is a very big deal for our troupe. Just to have the opportunity to compete in such a well-known competition as the Waterford International Light Opera Festival makes all our hard work and preparation well worth it,� said Spirit of Newfoundland Productions executive producer, Kathie Hicks. �We are very grateful for the generous contribution of the provincial government, because without it, none of this would have been possible.�

The Waterford International Light Opera Festival has been a prestigious competition since its inception in 1959. Canada�s entry of Nunsense, written by Dan Goggin, will be up against shows such as The Pirates of Penzance, The Hot Mikado, Les Miserables � The School Edition, The Mikado, Godspell, Singing in the Rain, Man of la Mancha and The King and I. Part of the competition allows each entry to use the festival�s 17 piece orchestra. The group has invited theatre owners to the show to view its performance with the goal of arranging a future tour.

Media contact:
Lynn Evans, Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, (709)729-4570, 690-6290
Kathie Hicks, Spirit of Newfoundland Productions, (709)579-5370

2005 09 13                              12:30 p.m.

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