RuBarb settling into a new home

The cast of RuBarb Productions’ Shrek the Musical pose by the mission statement of the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre. Photo courtesy Evie Koop Sawatzky

The charitable organization is making the most out of the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre

Once empty spaces in the basement of the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre are now brimming with activity.

Some of the rooms, even when the centre was still the Capitol Theatre, were never even finished. While many of those rooms still need more work, RuBarb Productions staff and students are already feeling like they’re in a new home.

“These rooms were just not used,” said Evie Koop Sawatzky, artistic director of RuBarb Productions. “It’s really empowering to be in the same building as Festival of Words, the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre. There’s just so much potential. So it’s really exciting the changes that have been happening at the Cultural Centre with the new staff.”

RuBarb Productions recently partnered with the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre and moved their office from 321 Main St. N. to the Cultural Centre, where many of the shows take place.

“From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense. We’re renting rooms that were never rented,” said Mathew Deruoriz, events manager at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre.

“We want to effectively grow the revenue of the theatre so it’s less dependent on the city. There is a need in Moose Jaw for a theatre of this calibre. We want to grow. We want to make it busy and improve the customer experience and that includes making use of all the space we have.”

RuBarb Productions has gone from being a bit cramped for space to having two rehearsal rooms, two studios, a room for the box office and a room for costumes all in the basement of the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre, below the Mae Wilson Theatre stage.

Equipment and phone lines have been moved over to RuBarb’s new home, but most rooms are not yet finished. Even though there are cement floors and the walls aren’t fully painted, that doesn’t bother Sawatzky any because it’s all part of the process.

“We’re thankful and we’ll take what we can get because ultimately this is going to allow us to better serve the community,” she said. “It’s going to allow us to give better service, to provide more service and to make a bigger thumbprint on the cultural heartbeat of Moose Jaw. So we’re very excited.”

As a non-profit organization and now a registered charity, Sawatzky said RuBarb Productions is able to reach more people in the community.

For more on this story, see the July 4, 2017 print or online edition of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald.