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Actor, director, writer and producer Peter Pacey named recipient of The Playhouse Honours 2016

by on July 20, 2016

The Board of Directors of the Fredericton Playhouse is pleased to announce that actor, director, writer and producer Peter Pacey been named the 2016 recipient of The Playhouse Honours.

Pacey is one of the most recognized theatre personalities in Fredericton and has many accomplishments within his field. He has performed professionally at the National Arts Center, Theatre New Brunswick and Neptune Theatre. He is often called upon to perform as Lord Beaverbrook or Bull of the Woods for special events and conferences. Additionally, he has been a volunteer producer of shows at the Fredericton Playhouse, including Big Hearts for the Homeless and the Bob Kenny Concert. But perhaps his greatest contribution to the city of Fredericton is his work with the Calithumpians Theatre Company.

Over the past 35 years, Pacey has shaped the lives of hundreds of young theatre students through his work with the Calithumpians, a treasured tradition in Fredericton. Since its inception in 1979, the Calithumpians have combined education and entertainment to give the gift of free, live theatre and historic walking tours to more than 400,000 locals and tourists.

Under the umbrella of Fredericton Outdoor Summer Theatre, Pacey challenges young performers to combine history and culture with comedy and exuberance in Theatre in the Park performances, resulting in original plays that Calithumpian participants write and perform themselves to large crowds each summer in Officers’ Square. The program also includes Fencibles, providing heritage interpretation activities in Barracks Square.

Wayne Burley, President of the Fredericton Playhouse Board of Directors, says he is pleased to recognize Pacey’s accomplishments. “Peter is extremely dedicated to his hometown, his province and his country,” Burley says. “Through his work with the Calithumpians, he has become a mentor for so many young performers in Fredericton, and has transformed lives through his artistic skill and nurturing confidence. We are proud to name him as the recipient of The Playhouse Honours for 2016.”

Many of the young people who have performed in the Calithumpians have taken that training with them throughout their careers. These alumni read like a who’s who of performers and professionals hailing from our region, including: professional actors Tony LePage, Tania Breen and Natalie Roy; director and actor Caleb Marshall; professional musicians Matt Brennan and Krista Touesnard; comedian Marcel St. Pierre; actor and film director Tim Doiron; and former MLA Kelly Lamrock.

Pacey’s selfless dedication has also been recognized through other honours and awards, such as the Paul Harris Award – the highest award to be presented by Rotary International, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award, which he received in 2012.

“I am deeply honoured to be counted among those worthies who are feted on the wall of the Playhouse,” Pacey says. “I share this honour with so many people who have aided and abetted the Calithumpians and Fredericton Outdoor Summer Theatre over the years. Of course I’m grateful to my family who encouraged me to take the road less travelled. I think of all the people who helped form the company and nurtured us through the early years in the 1980s and ’90s. I think of our many sponsors and former board members, as well as politicians of all stripes and all levels of government and the many civil servants who also encouraged us.

“I would be remiss if I did not mention all the past and present Calithumpians and Fencibles who have worked so hard to make our shows and programs so popular and professional. I share this honour with all those who have helped make us such a success, not the least of whom are our audiences, who have been our raison d’etre.”

Established in 2008, the Playhouse Honours is given annually to an individual selected by the Fredericton Playhouse Board of Directors. Generously presented by Atlantic Mediaworks, the program recognizes an individual’s involvement in the performing arts in Fredericton, fostering a deeper appreciation of the value that people can bring to community life through their work in music, theatre, dance, spoken word and multidisciplinary performing arts. A permanent display in the west gallery of the Playhouse recognizes the honourees.

Previous recipients of The Playhouse Honours include Ilkay Silk, Brent Staeben, Philip Sexsmith, Walter Learning, Mabel Doak, Bonnie Kilburn, Michael Doherty and Aida & Hrvoje Tisler.

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