The Festival Theatre stage at Acadia University was named recently in honour of two former faculty members whose careers have inspired countless performers and audiences, Michael Bawtree and the late Colin Bernhardt. A dedication ceremony on Dec. 7, 2017 recognized two men who together contributed more than 30 years to teaching and mentoring Acadia theatre students while thrilling audiences with their productions and performances as founders of the Atlantic Theatre Festival. A large and enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers was on hand to fete Michael Bawtree in the Festival Theatre, including University President Dr. Peter Ricketts; Vice-President, Advancement, Dr. Rod Morrison; and guest speaker Andria Hill-Lehr. Other special guests in attendance were Wolfville Mayor Jeff Cantwell, Dean of Arts Dr. Jeff Hennessy, Rev. Roger Prentice, architect Michael Harvey, whose designs transformed the old Ice Palace into the Festival Theatre, and members of the Retired Acadia Faculty Association (RAFA). The stage will henceforth be known as the “Bawtree-Bernhardt Festival Stage”.
Pictured, Michael Bawtree (left) with University President Dr. Peter Ricketts and Vice-President, Advancement, Dr. Rod Morrison. Photo: Peter Oleskevich.