Introducing the Annapolis Valley’s first show bus
Freeman Butland and Geoff Meymer, left, representing King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal, joined staff and residents at Mountain Lea Lodge and The Meadows in Bridgetown recently at the newly minted Show Bus supplied by Trans County Transportation Society, also based in Bridgetown. Fifth from right is Mountain Lea Lodge Administrator Joyce d’Entremont. The bus takes people from the Bridgetown facilities to events at King’s Theatre.
BRIDGETOWN – It may be the first show bus in the province, perhaps all the Maritimes. And it represents the culmination of more than two years of hard work by the Mountain Lea Lodge Recreation Department in Bridgetown and the King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal.
Originally, a consortium of area nursing homes approached the province to support a Show Bus – funded transportation for their residents to attend shows at King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal. Two years and four denials later, the group disbanded. But Mountain Lea remained steadfastly in the game, determined to find a way to fund their Show Bus.
“We loved the concept from the first day” said Recreation Director Kathy Sturtevant. “It would allow us to better meet our goals of getting our residents out of their rooms and into the community to do things they enjoy. At the same time it would allow us to take advantage of the theatrical variety this amazing little theatre in Annapolis Royal has to offer.”
For Mountain Lea, the focus for funding became local – friends and families of the residents plus supportive local businesses. “The response we received was overwhelming,” said Sturtevant. “The cost for a bus is $350 per trip and we have already received enough money for four trips.”
While Sturtevant was a leading force behind the successful launch of Show Bus in Bridgetown, she is quick to point out that she could never have done it alone.
“Management at Mountain Lea was always supportive,” she said, “and the former recreation director, Kim Bowen, was deeply involved from the beginning. But none of this would have happened without the continuing support we received from King’s Theatre during the past two years, particularly through the efforts of Freeman Butland and Geoff Keymer. They were always there to provide what we needed when we needed it.”