Opening Night

a personal essay by Celeste Maynard

It was the day I had been dreading (and anticipating) since I was told I was going to be a river kid (one of the main roles) in this year's River Clyde Pageant. It was opening night. I had been practicing almost every day for two months to memorize eight scenes and three songs yet it still didn’t feel like long enough. Nervously reciting lines in my head, I got in the car and we headed to New Glasgow where the traveling performance was to take place on the bank of the river. Almost immediately I started rambling, saying things like “I’m going to mess up” and “We are all going to die” in typical nervous Celeste fashion. My brother, playing the part of a troll, kept telling me to shut up which I did, eventually. Before I knew it we were at the church.

The church was, as usual, a whirlwind of activity as herons and water spirits applied makeup, foxes pinned on tails and our directors, Megan, Ker and Jane, were trying to organize everyone. A quick line run and choir practice later we set off to the Gardens of Hope to do warm ups and greet the audience. Joe and Eiffie ( the other river kids ) seemed just as nervous as I was as we played theatre games such as Hep Hep Bang. We did a cheer and then it was time to go up the hill to direct the audience. As we were waiting, we discussed the life span of jellyfish and rambled nervously. We directed the huge (around 150 people) crowd down the hill and then the foxes jumped out of the bushes. That was our cue to go. We ran down the hill singing and all eyes were on us. It was now or never.

Fiona, Celeste & Joe run down the hill at the beginning of Wake the River Clyde, 2017

Fiona, Celeste & Joe run down the hill at the beginning of Wake the River Clyde, 2017

The scenes seemed to blur together, the troutlets, the farmer and the mermaid, the herons and the crow, the trolls, more mermaids and suddenly we were taking our bows. Everyone was celebrating. We made a beeline towards the food knowing it would be gone in no time. All the kids sat on the damp ground behind The Mill and ate. Then we ran around laughing like lunatics, climbed trees and played cards until long after dark. People trickled away until it was just my mom, Ker, Megan, a few other cast members and myself. These people were now like my second family. We bid them goodbye and we headed home knowing that tomorrow we would do it all over again.

Celeste performed as a River Kid in the 2017 River Clyde Pageant, and as a Crankie Kid in 2016.

If you have a story to share about your Pageant experience, let us know!

Another campaign milestone!

Today we reached 75% of our crowdfunding goal! And with twelve days left, we have renewed energy and confidence as we head in to our final weeks of the campaign. To celebrate, we made this video update with Ian McFarlane, who will be leading puppet workshops for the Pageant this summer. Special thanks to Marianne Rendón, who directed, shot & edited this!

If you haven't yet made a donation to the 2017 River Clyde Pageant, now is the time! Help us reach our goal of $10,000 - which will cover basic costs of the Pageant: artist fees, workshop costs, materials, and food for the community suppers that conclude each night of the Pageant.

And if you've donated already, keep the Pageant on people's minds by sharing updates on social media, and emailing and telling your friends! Let's get all the way up the river!

Help us Wake the River Clyde!

We’ve officially launched our 2017 Fundraising Campaign to make the River Clyde Pageant happen again in New Glasgow this summer! Hooray!

Our Campaign Launch coincides with the release of a short video from last year’s event, which you can see on our campaign page - click the image below to take a look.

Help us reach our fundraising goal!

$10,000 is a lot of money. But, to put it in perspective: approximately 500 people experienced last year’s River Clyde Pageant, as audience members, volunteers, performers, and workshop attendees. If each of those 500 people gave $20, we would hit our goal! So, if you experienced the Pageant in some way last summer, and would like to see this inspiring event happen again, please consider a donation, large or small, to Wake the River Clyde.

We need your help in other ways, too!

Big campaigns like ours this rely on strong word of mouth to reach their targets. So, if you believe in this project, we invite you to SHARE the campaign on social media, email your friends, and tell people all about it!

We will be posting frequent updates on our facebook page - ‘Like’ us and follow along!

We’re grateful for the amazing team backing this project already.

On the Campaign page, you’ll notice an array of awesome perks you can get in exchange for your donation. We’ve partnered with local businesses and restaurants such as Receiver Coffee; The PEI Preserve Company; YouMeal; and Upstreet Craft Brewing, who are offering gift certificates and meals for special perk levels. Other sweet perks include tickets to the Pageant, Pageant t-shirts, and even a chance to PERFORM as an original character with your friends or family in this summer’s event!!!

We are also working on the campaign with a dedicated team of River Pilots: 11 people who were involved in the Pageant in some way last summer, and have generously signed on to help us fundraise.  Along the way, we’ll be posting photos and testimonials from some of these folks, who shared their thoughts on what the Pageant means to them.

So, we invite you to join us on this month-long fundraising journey, to Wake the River Clyde and make theatre magic happen again again in New Glasgow!