The tenants that fill the halls of the Charlotte Street Arts Centre set the standard for the city’s art scene. The talent spans from dedicated movie makers to passionate musicians, to beautiful dancers. Whether community members are seeking a job or volunteer opportunities, or just looking to find a way to integrate the arts into their everyday lives, the people of CSAC offer an abundance of choices.
The events planned are wide-ranging, and the tenants are the real attraction. The goal of the centre was to create a home and workspace for every artistic outlet.
“Charlotte Glencross who was one of the people that was spearheading it,” says long-term tenant and executive director of NB Film Co-op, Tony Merzetti. “She approached us and said you have to move into the building, we want to get these anchor tenants. People that are involved in different art forms, because we’re looking at getting a mix of organisations and individual artists. So we were sort of like a film place and in town that people could join and make films and learn about filmmaking.”
In terms of the variety, Cat Leblanc, the Co-op’s Membership Services Director, mentions the ease of collaboration among the centre’s tenants.
“It’s a really cool place because you meet people in the bathroom, and they’re like, ‘Oh, NB Film Co-Op, I’ve got this project, would you want to partner on?’ There’s all this cross-pollination of different art disciplines.”
The centre is most definitely a hub for Fredericton artists and their work. Leblanc made sure to add some promotion for her neighbours’ talents, like musician and singer-songwriter, Jason Anderson.
Anderson is a tenant just next door to the NB Film Co-op, who Leblanc describes as “wildly talented.” He offers private music lessons and claims he has a passion for teaching and music. Alan Grabelsky and Guy Vezina are also highlighted individual artists, but through the visual art medium of painting, while Tracey O’Brien specializes in textiles.
The beauty of the CSAC lies in the fact these artists share a hallway. The Kidsing Performance Studio is two metres away from those involved in the Mawi’Art Wabanaki Artist Collective, while guitarist Troy McLaggan and fiddler Katherine Moller plan to collaborate in the near future.
In the CSAC, a large dance studio is home to the Siamsa Rince Gaelach Irish Dance Company, which instills excitement and passion for the arts in young kids, passing on the centre’s goal. The CSAC is a safe space for anyone willing to nurture their love of arts, with a careful intention to welcome people of any background, age or experience.
Leblanc adds, “We’ve got people who are complete greenhorns, that join and learn how to be filmmakers or actors and then we’ve got mid-career people and then professionals. So it ranges from like 16 or 17 years of age to in their 90s.”
No matter who you are, the pull of the arts is relentless, and Charlotte Street will always welcome you.