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The Stage Comes to Life at Keyano Theatre

(2 votes)

In the heart of Fort McMurray’s downtown your options for recreational activities have grown over the years. Now, you can attend multiple recreational parks and fitness centres, you can go shopping at various shopping centres, you can pick any restaurant to attend from fine dining to sports pubs and more, you can explore various outdoor facilities and trails, and even visit historical landmarks.

Through all the growth, an arts and culture pillar at the south end of Franklin Avenue has remained consistent for three and half decades. The Keyano Theatre and Arts Centre, often described as the heart of arts and culture in the area, is more like a rock in the region, staying true over time while adjusting to ever changing surroundings. Year after year, the Theatre continues to be your source for essential entertainment.

Keyano Theatre and Act Centre is state-of-the-art facility with a 594-seat Theatre and a 194-seat Recital Theatre where over 80,000 patrons passing through the doors each year. The Theatre is dedicated to providing the Wood Buffalo community with access to the artistic forms of entertainment, and has been since 1980. In the past 35 years Keyano Theatre has produced over 160 different dramas, comedies and musicals. The Theatre plays host to a variety of film presentations and hundreds of performance guests from around the world.

Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre is also a rental facility, accommodating hundreds of school, community, corporate, and college events. The region can truly enjoy theatre and arts in multiple ways through this important and prominent facility, and each year it continues to play a major role in delivering world-class entertainment.

The Syncrude Arts Alive series offers a wide range of programming including musical performances, comedic acts and children’s theatre. Since 1998 Syncrude has been the title sponsor of this series and has made it possible for Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre to welcome a selection of unique acts to the region.

The Affair for the Arts fundraiser is a theatre event aimed at raising funds to assist Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre in its commitment to building a vibrant arts and cultural community in Wood Buffalo. The Affair offers has brought the region amazing acts like Rick Mercer, William Shatner and this year, Colin Mochrie.

Reel Performances: TIFF Film Circuit at Keyano Theatre brings the Toronto International Film Festival to your backyard. TIFF is dedicated to presenting the best of international and Canadian cinema to film lovers. Each year the Theatre screens several films that are part of the TIFF Film Circuit for the community to enjoy.

KTC in the Community is Keyano Theatre’s community outreach program, created with our area in-mind. The programming is designed to work with local youth in their own environment and to help them find their artistic voice. From comic book makeup to song writing, there is something for everyone.

4-Play Drama Series is Keyano Theatre’s main series featuring three local community theatre productions each year and one professional touring production performing in Keyano Theatre. These productions take place on the Main Stage.

So whether you are looking for a date night to remember or want to test your skill centre stage, Keyano Theatre and Arts Centre is your local destination. Feed your inner artist or need for entertainment and join us for a workshop, production, screening, concert and more. 


In honour of local productions, Keyano Theatre presents the Top 10 Community Performance. These are some of the most outstanding productions put together by dedicated volunteers and staff. Each year they pour their hearts into these performances to provide the community with an amazing artistic experience. Community performances like these can only be experienced through Keyano Theatre’s 4-Play Drama Series. Let’s take a look at the Top 10:

10. Anne of Green Gables (1988)
When PEI’s sweet heart made her way to the Fort McMurray stage, it was a show to remember. Anne fans could see their favourite children’s book character come to life on the Keyano Theatre stage. Taking place in 1988, this is the earliest production on our Top 10 list.

9. Death of a Salesman (2000)
Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Over 50 years later its legacy still lived on and was a highlight of the Theatre’s productions in the year 2000.

8. Calendar Girls (2012)
Based off the 2003 comedy film, this play had our region in stitches. The local cast did not hold back and really got into character by creating a full calendar for fans to remember them by. This 2012 production is remembered as one of the funniest shows to-date.

7. The Wizard of Oz (1992)
Following the yellow brick road to Keyano Theatre was a no brainer in 1992, when the community produced this classic. The audience experienced what life was like over the rainbow through the traditional story of Dorothy and all of her friends, and enemies, she met along her journey.  

6. Chicago (2012)
2012 was an amazing year that awed the audience of our region. Jaws dropped, and all that jazz, as this sassy musical took the stage. From the Cell Block Tango to When You’re Good to Momma, not a beat or note was missed by this outstanding cast and crew. 

5. Hometown… The Musical! (2013)
Locally written and locally produced, Hometown… The Musical! is a treasure of Fort McMurray. The large cast included community members of all walks of life and was an amazing representation of what this area has to offer on and off the stage. No wonder it snagged a spot in the top five!

4. Amadeus (1991 & 2004)
The lavish Victorian wardrobe was a sight to remember and we liked it so much we brought it back… twice! Fans were engaged into this play, which captured a highly fictionalized version of composers’ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s and Antonio Salieri’s lives. Staff and volunteers took on a large challenge when creating this award winning production and rose to the occasion to say the least.

3. Les Misérables (2014)
From the book to the theatre to the television to the film, Les Misérables has been captivating audiences with its unique tale of the French revolution since 1862. With great timing, Keyano Theatre produced this timeless masterpiece shortly after it hit cinemas as a blockbuster film, offering the community the opportunity to experience this work of art live.

2. Into the Woods (2016)
The set of Into the Woods lived up to its name, taking you on an in-depth journey through a life lesson provoking adult fairy tale. This show set a record for the largest audition turnout in history at a Keyano Theatre.  Talented cast and crew took an alternate look at happily ever after and left the crowd speechless. This production can be described of as whimsical, weird and wonderful.

1. Cabaret (1990 & 2015)
Creating 1931 Berlin in Fort McMurray is no easy task, however the Theatre’s production of Cabaret achieved it. Bringing the Kit Kat Klub to life on stage, the production of Cabaret was a show inside a show which captivated the audience through its complex, yet complete, story line. The real aspect that makes this show our true winner was the ability to pull it off in community theatre style, not once, but twice with 25 years in-between! Cabaret is a performance to remember.


- Photos by Sean McLennan