What’s missing in Huntsville entertainment? New HFA executive director wants to know



For more than 25 years, the Huntsville Festival of the Arts (HFA) has been presenting a variety of diverse performances and arts-related events. Among them have been Canadian artists, fringe festivals, tribute acts and speakers.

That tradition continues in the HFA’s upcoming fall season with Canadian country artist Brett Kissel, The Celtic Tenors, and tribute shows The Everly Brothers Experience, All McCartney Live, and The Traveling Milburys.

But new HFA Executive Director, Dan Watson, who took the reins of the organization in September after long-time general manager Rob Saunders retired, wants to hear from you: what do you like about the festival’s offerings and what do you think is missing?

“The festival is a really important and integral part of the community,” says Watson. “We are entering the 27th year, and obviously we are doing something right because we are still in existence but there is always room to grow. Part of my job is to continue to bring all of the excellent things that we do bring and to start looking also at some other flavours that we can bring to the table. That’s where the community comes in. We want to hear from folks, what are the things they like that we are doing and what are the things they’d like to see that we’re not?”

HFA has sent out surveys to its subscriber community for feedback, and wants to hear from the community-at-large. Whether you go to multiple shows each season or have never been to one at all, comment below with your ideas for new or different offerings and what you’d like the festival to keep the same.

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  1. I realize that there is some reason or other that it can’t be done, but I’d like to see the reincarnation of those wonderful Musicals like Rotary used to put on.
    Musicals with all the old favorites.
    It gave the singers, the dancers, the actors, the props people, stage hands, ushers et al. lots to do .
    I can still remember Bill Farmer belting out Ole Man River. All the band members, Rosemary with the costume crew. But, there’s probably some reason or other.

  2. I do not know if this idea would come under the HFA mandate. I would like to see the formation of a Community/ Huntsville Theatre group, both adult and junior, gathering all the talent together under one umbrella . This not only provides opportunities to young people but encourages them in the entire arts fields. For adults, it is an opportunity to enjoy their wonderful talent. I know we have groups that come together annually to produce a production – and they are great but an ongoing group that is sponsored by HFA – the town (reduced rates for the theatre) and brings the enormous talents of Huntsville under one roof. Check out what Orangeville is doing.
    I would love to see more musicals also.

  3. We lost a fantastic source of entertainment when the Huntsville Theatre Company lost its performing venue at the Chaffey Hall. There has to be a way that these talented, dedicated performers could share the Algonquin Stage. I can only dream of a presentation of “Grease” with Serge Charlebois as Danny, and Amy Wallace as Sandy.

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