Malory Beazley, the recently hired operations manager at the Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Centre, is literally bursting with enthusiasm when she talks about her future plans for The Grace.
“Tatamagouche is a happening spot and The Grace is the place,” she said with gusto.
Beazley sees her primary role as creating connections between The Grace and the community. She plans to make The Grace the centre of arts and entertainment in Tatamagouche by organizing and bringing in fresh and exciting new events that will appeal to a wide range of people. Like the many dedicated volunteers, she has an extraordinary ability to see the enormous potential of The Grace.
Open mike night has already been introduced to much acclaim and is well on its way to becoming a monthly Thursday night event Headed up by Megan Foote and hosted by Jim White, local musicians, comedians, poets, and other performers can perform onstage to enthusiastic audiences.
“Performers can sign up at the door on the night of the show,” Beazley said.
At the last event, there were 14 performers and since admission is by donation, everyone can attend.
“Open mike night is a wonderful opportunity for young artists to perform in front of a live audience using professional sound equipment,” she pointed out.
A trivia night is in the works. Modeled after the British pub quizzes, this regular Thursday evening activity will pit teams of trivia lovers against each other. Once more, admission will be by donation and the bar will be open.
Beazley wants to make Thursday night an evening of regular programming.
“There are so many talented people in the area and they need to be given the stage,” she said. She sees the arts as the cornerstone of a healthy community and has plans to partner up with the schools and businesses to ramp up youth participation.
She envisions theme dances with deejays and live music, and a pay-it-forward scheme, coordinated through the schools and service organizations, which will enable people to donate tickets for big name events to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend.
Beazley recently contacted the Toronto International Film Festival about the possibility of having The Grace added to their film circuit. When and if this comes to fruition, Tatamagouche will be a venue for international films that were featured at TIFF.
For one so young, Malory Beazley brings with her a world of experience and an infectious enthusiasm for the arts. She has a B.A. in film and media from Queen’s University, where she worked part time at the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery. In a gap year after her undergraduate studies she backpacked through Scotland and landed a job in a café in Edinburgh that allowed her to live there for a year and made possible further solo trips across Europe, as far as Istanbul.
She recently earned her M.A. in film studies at Concordia where she immersed herself in the Montreal art scene as well as working in a bookstore café and teaching a tutorial in Canadian arts and culture. She was certainly living the life and admits that it was great fun and a wonderful experience, but the Windsor native longed for the sea bound coast. “I missed the feeling that I was at home and wanted to be more settled and focused,” she said.
Last summer she visited Tatamagouche for the first time since she was 10 years old when she stayed at her Grammie Matheson’s home at The Falls.
“I had an immediate feeling of belonging. I remembered the two headed calf and I was amazed and impressed by all the changes I saw in the community,” she said.
Welcome back to Tatamagouche, Malory! If you don’t know her yet, please introduce yourself. And of course don’t forget to check out what’s happening at The Grace online at the newly designed website, gracejollymore.com. You won’t be disappointed.