Burton Cummings Theatre Seating Plan
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Burton Cummings Theatre
The rich tradition and history of performing arts and culture in Canada has gathered the attention of tourists from all over the world, and taking the heritage of the country a step further is the historical gem Walker Theatre that is now known as Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts.
It has been over a century that this prestigious theatre is keeping the culture and tradition alive with quality presentations all over the year.
The theatre is famous all over the world and considered among the top tourists attractions in Winnipeg. Let us take you through the colorful history of Burton Cummings Theatre and know the story of this historical masterpiece.
The Burton Cummings Theatre was formerly known as Walker Theatre. It was built in 1907 by C.P. and Harriet Walker to provide quality live entertainment to the citizens of Canada. The theatre was designed by Howard Stone and it was the first completely fireproof theatre in the country.
The theatre was officially opened on February 18th, 1907 with the New England Opera Company"s production of Madame Butterfly. From the very first year, the Walker started attracting huge crowd as it played some really good shows and musicals. It was an expensive project but got the right response from the arts lovers.
In its early years, the Walker played host to the likes Charlie Chaplin, Marx Brothers and Winston Churchill who graced the theatre for performances and political rallies. Many outstanding productions like Ben Hur, Sappho, Mrs. Warren"s Profession, Comin" Through the Rye, Little Women, Uncle Tom"s Cabin, Maid of the Mountains, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm were staged there.
The Dumbells, D"Oyly Carte Opera Company, Stratford-Upon-Avon Players and Quinlan Grand Opera Company stayed or played at the theatre. Celebrities like Sir Harry Lauder, Wee Georgie Wood, Ed Wynn, May Robson, Grace George, Feodor Chaliapin, Nellie Melba, Madame Clara Butt and many others also appeared in the theatre and the place resounded with huge cheers with many grand operas, concerts, and pantomime for many years.
It was until World War One that the Walker Theatre remained the center of cultural activity in Winnipeg. The theatre had been home to many touring productions of opera, theatre, music, ballet and vaudeville from New York and London. Local performers also showcased their talent on the stage and the theatre became the hotspot for entertainment in Canada.
However, following the World War and Great Depression, the Walker Theatre could not continue its glory and was seized in 1936 by the City of Winnipeg owing back to taxes. In the next phase of its history, the Walker was sold to Henry Morton in 1944 and was re-opened in 1945 as the Odeon Cinema.
The Odeon Theatre maintained the same success galore as that of Walker Theatre and run quite successfully for forty-five years. It was the premiere single-screen cinema in downtown Winnipeg and used to feature the best of cinema from the world over.
However, the arts admirers missed the good old Walker Theatre that used to be the premium venue for live shows. In 1990, the Walker Theatre Performing Arts Group Inc. purchased the Odeon for $700,000.00 in order to restore the building and again provide quality oriented performing arts programs to the citizens.
It was on March 1, 1991 that Walker Theatre was re-opened for public. Blue Rodeo appeared in the newly restored and renovated theatre and Canadians rejoiced again to regain their most loved performing arts center. Since then, the theatre is being recognized as one of the most outstanding live performance theatres in the country. It was renamed as The Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts in 2002.
The new name was given in honor of Winnipeg"s most outstanding singer/songwriter/entertainer, Burton Cummings, the lead singer for the Canadian rock band "The Guess Who," who has represented Winnipeg"s culture all over the world just like the Walker Theatre.
Those who have ever been to the Burton Cummings Theatre know the experience one can have there, while those who have not should check the majestic theatre soon as it truly represents the charisma of Canadian culture.
This is the place where the biggest music stars and theatrical productions stop to entertain the crowd of two thousand or more depending on the nature of the show. A designated Grade One Heritage Building of Canada, the theatre has hosted the likes of Celine Dion, Sarah McLachlan, Nelly Furtado, N"Sync, Prince and Burton Cummings himself in recent years.
Even more is in the pipe line for the next season. So come to the Burton Cummings Theatre and enjoy the magic of international stars and a dazzling array of productions in a truly mesmerizing theatrical ambiance.
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