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I’m not going to lie – I’m not that excited by the “motto” Swift Current’s Chautauqua has (I sure hope I’m going to enjoy it – or else what’s the point?) – but over the years, it’s grown on me, and I’ve managed to focus on what it has instead of what it doesn’t – namely truth.  Chances are you really are going to enjoy it!

A tradition that goes back to the late 19th Century, a “Chautauqua” was a movement to educate adults, bringing “entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day.”  Think Fringe Festival – with music, or sports, or poetry, or, or, or….whatever organizers dream up, all in the same venue! (I happen to have it on good authority, that one of the fillers before one of the plays is a Fencing (the sport, not the enclosure) demonstration).

Original Chautauqua’s existed in “Circuit Tents” that travelled from town to town, set up for a night or two, and then entertained their small town folk, with “culture” from the big city.  Today’s Swift Current Chautauqua takes place in the historic Lyric Theatre – which also has roots in Vaudeville – and features local performers mixed in with plays performed by award winning performers from the regular Fringe and Theatre circuits.

Photo courtesy of the Lyric Theatre

Two of the main one-act play features at this year’s Summer Chautauqua’s line-up includes:

Son of Africville

Show sponsored by Sasktel and the Living Sky Casino

An autobiographical story of a mother and son reuniting, after twenty years, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Their roots stem directly from historic Africville, the largest and oldest black community in Canada, until it was bulldozed in the 1960s. “Funny, touching and tragic”, Times Colonist, Victoria, BC.


Show sponsored by Melhoff Electric, the Redneck Betties (Kokapelli’s and Diamond Steel and Recycle Ltd.)

Sibling rivalry, self-help books and misplaced superhero worship:one woman just wants to save the world one hip-check at a time.

Winner of Outstanding Fringe Production and Best in Fest, Ottawa Fringe,
and Best in Venue, Hamilton Fringe!


Yeah, the motto didn’t lie – I haven’t been to a single Chautauqua where I wasn’t thoroughly entertained by both the local and the “professional” entertainment.

You will indeed enjoy it!

Visit the Lyric Theatre at www.lyrictheatre.ca to learn more!

For Information about a Play, Click on the Play’s Name

Date Time Plays Local Performers
July 5
6 pm Son of Africville Stacy Tinant / Nick Brice
9 pm Roller Derby Saved My Soul Cole Anderson / Chandler Dueck
July 6
2 pm Son of Africville Stacy Tinant / Nick Brice
6 pm Roller Derby Saved My Soul Cole Anderson / Chandler Dueck
9 pm Loon Dianne Miller / Keely Williams
July 7
1 pm Loon Dianne Miller / Keely Williams
4 pm Munsch’n Right Along Dance
Guernica Super Spectacular! To Opera, With Love
Stephanie Houghtaling / Some People’s Children
July 8
2 pm Munsch’n Right Along Dance
6 pm Guernica Stephanie Houghtaling / Brady Frank’s band
9 pm Super Spectacular! To Opera, With Love Susan Motkaluk / Some People’s Children

How to Go Here:  Head straight downtown to the Lyric Theatre located on Central Ave N. (See the directions for Market Square as the Lyric is right next door!)

Gotta Go?:  The Lyric’s got you covered with lovely bathrooms and scented soaps – only drawback is the fact that the cracks between the doors are a little too spacious for my modest likings!

Good to Know:  It’s pronounced “Sha-Tak-Kwa”

Here’s a glimpse of last year’s Chautauqua to give you a taste: