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Pictou’s deCoste centre is a treasure

To the Editor,

The deCoste Performing Arts Centre in Pictou is one of Pictou County’s treasures. With over 100 shows each year, the Centre showcases local, national and international artists.

From the moment it opened its doors in 1982, featuring a relatively unknown singer, Rita MacNeil, the centre has continually upgraded its facility to ensure it remains comfortable, ascetically pleasing, and fully equipped to meet the needs of its performers and to guarantee audience satisfaction.

The centre has a significant financial impact on Pictou and Pictou County.

What is the essence of the success the deCoste has achieved? The location on the historic waterfront of Pictou is definitely an asset. The list of noteworthy artists who have appeared on its stage, including Great Big Sea, Buffy Sainte Marie, k.d.lang, Natalie MacMaster, Matt Anderson, Frank Mills, Dave Gunning, George Canyon, etc. is impressive.

The versatility of the centre has ensured its success as it accommodates singers, actors, dancers, musicians, magicians, weddings, conferences, craft and quilt fairs, etc. Perhaps the greatest asset the centre has enjoyed is the dedication of its board members and its professional, efficient, friendly staff. The deCoste is more than a performing arts centre, it is home to individuals who work tirelessly to ensure performer and audience are fully engaged.

Rita MacNeil recognized the valuable asset of the centre’s staff: “I have fond memories when I look back on the days when I performed at the deCoste Centre for many reasons. The folks involved putting on the shows made you feel special, they made sure everything was in place for your performance. It was always such a pleasure because all involved made it an event.” Natalie MacMaster echoes Rita’s appraisal: “The staff are some of the finest people I’ve worked with, reliable and always in good cheer, very capable of looking after your needs.”

For much of its 36 years, four individuals, the Fab Four: Wayne MacGillivary, John Meir, Darlene MacDonald, Nancy MacDonald combined their enormous talents to create a legacy that many centres across the country envy. It is reassuring that Troy Greencorn and his team are continuing that rich legacy.

Darlene MacDonald has just recently retired from her pivotal management role at the centre. Anyone who has performed there or attended an event will have encountered Darlene with her friendly smile, courteous manner and her passion for the centre. She has been a dedicated ambassador for the deCoste, for the performing arts and for Pictou County. When Rita, Natalie and a host of other performers share accolades of their appreciation of the centre, they will certainly be referring to the entire staff, and certainly remembering Darlene with great appreciation.

George Henaut,

New Glasgow

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