Okanagan theatre hosts Mario Kart races, hopes to pave way to Esports tournament | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan theatre hosts Mario Kart races, hopes to pave way to Esports tournament

Participants race through Mario Kart. Creekside Theatre is holding video games sessions to encourage younger people to take an interest in the theatre.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Creekside Theatre
January 14, 2021 - 6:30 AM

Lake Country’s theatre is transforming its 250-seat auditorium into a video gamer’s haven amid the pandemic.

Since all performances have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings until at least February, Creekside Theatre is pivoting into the video game world, said Lake Country cultural development coordinator Ryan Donn.

READ MORE: OverActive Media rides out pandemic, looks to broaden esports footprint in the future

Performances may be cancelled but small recreational children’s programs are still taking place and throughout the month, the theatre is hosting Mario Kart races on the Nintendo Switch.

Tickets are $5 and sessions are socially distanced for up to four people. Spots have already been filled until the end of January but Donn said more sessions will be posted online in the near future.

"Our mandate is to do what we can during this pandemic," Donn said.

READ MORE: South Okanagan theatre offers venue to video gamers

He also hopes this will encourage younger people to take an interest in the theatre in the future.

“We’re in a high school... and the kids that attend this high school don’t often come back to this theatre after school," he said. "When you talk about what they’re interested in, it’s video games and Esports.”

Small video game groups won’t be enough to sustain theatres, but it’s a way to use the space as an add-on service that will hopefully grow into an Esports tournament, Donn said.

The second-wave of COVID-19 and venue closures have dramatically impacted artists and shows are now being cancelled rather than postponed, Donn said.

“There’s just a year ahead of lost income for artists… my concern is where is the artists’ pool is going to come from that didn’t have the last two years of career development… they haven’t built their audiences for the last two years.”

To find out about more video game sessions, visit Creekside Theatre’s booking website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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