The Cumberland Museum and Archives and TheatreWorks are joining forces once again to create a special production as an extension of Comox Valley Art’s LocalColours ArtsFest.

TheatreWorks has a reputation for creating original, thought-provoking material that weaves historical accuracy with characters that allow audiences to connect with the issues of the times. Last year, the performance of Coal Town Kids was a great success and was recognized in the One Act Theatre Festival for Best Original Script, Best Production, Best Ensemble Acting, and Best Backstage Coordination.

This year playwright Kymme Patrick is launching a story focusing on William and Alexander Campbell, owners of the Campbell Brothers’ store, and their involvement and support of Cumberland coal miners during the Big Strike of 1912 to 1914. During the strike, Alexander Campbell became Cumberland’s first labour mayor. The brothers provided store credit totaling $80,000 to miners and their families who could not afford food, despite the unlikelihood of ever being repaid. Miners and their families who had been evicted from company homes were welcome to camp on their property.

For Patrick, using real stories is the impetus to create a story that can be shared with all ages. “It’s always interesting to get facts and stories from local historians and the well of information provided by the Cumberland Museum and Archives. I thought it would be more interesting to look at the realities of the great strike from the perspective of entire families, not just the narrow lens of politics.”

One Strike, Two Brothers takes place Saturday, October 14 at the Cumberland United Church. Doors open at 7pm, and the play starts at 7:30. Entrance is by donation with proceeds supporting commemorative events in 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the death of Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin. We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada.

Anna Rambow

Engagement Coordinator, Cumberland Museum and Archives