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Emerging VOICES Program

VOICES stands for:

Volunteer opportunities unique to the nation - linking young people to the company’s professional artists and community elders;

Outreach in providing an immersive and integrated experience working with our renowned artistic team in a rural, artistic setting;

Innovation and experimentation resulting in productions that entertain, educate and enthrall and created through our unique artistic processes;

Community commitment to encourage rural youth to participate in the arts and develop their own voices and stories;

Education that allows participants to gain an understanding and insight into the history of their community; and

Skills developed through practical, hands-on application that young people rarely have access to.

Rural community youth have always played a major role in 4th Line Theatre’s iconic history. From the first play at the Winslow Farm in 1992 to last year’s The Cavan Blazers, community actors have not only captured the authentic voices in the plays but have allowed the theatre to create epic productions for over two decades. As a large presence in the local arts ecology, we aim to expose our community to the most exciting professional Canadian theatre artists and their work.


We work with regional youth to address each of their unique barriers to participation in the arts to empower them to build skills and gain experience in the arts industry. This program provides opportunities for paid contract positions, apprenticeships and volunteer positions for regional youth in the areas of theatre production, musical performance, administration and event management/audience services.

As a result of this unique arts training opportunity, youth participants in the Emerging VOICES Youth Training program will gain invaluable experience working in a professional, rural arts setting alongside arts professionals.  In order to address barriers to participation, we: ensure our facilities are fully accessible; provide transportation options; engage in one-on-one training/skills-building activities; meet youth where they are at and determine their particular areas of interest and design training opportunities accordingly.

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4th Line Theatre is excited to announce that their longtime sponsor Nexicom will again double the impact of donations to 4th Line Theatre's Emerging VOICES Program for the 2022 season. Now more than ever, youth apprentices can benefit from having an outdoor escape, creating in-person friendships, and cultivating artistic excellence that will serve the future of theatre in the Kawarthas. The matching initiative, between February 1 and March 1, 2022, helps donors empower local youth to find their voice and a place of belonging on the 4th Line stage.


“Through our Emerging VOICES engagement program, local youth are given the opportunity to gain experience, skills and training that will ultimately help them to achieve their goals, artistic and other,” says Managing Artistic Director Kim Blackwell. “What makes the program particularly unique is that local young people work alongside and learn from, professional artists. And the program is completely free of charge.”

Community volunteers have always played a major role in 4th Line Theatre’s iconic history. From the first play at the Winslow Farm in 1992 to our upcoming 30th season, the impact of our volunteers has helped the theatre to continue to create the epic productions that we have been known for over the past two decades. This exceptional apprenticeship program works to encourage the valuable role that young people play within their community, give voice to their ideas and stories, provides mentorship and a supportive environment to express themselves.

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Sales & Marketing Manager Lance Nachoff is eager to continue Nexicom’s support of this program again in 2022, “At Nexicom we take great pride in the relationship we have fostered with amazing staff at 4th Line Theatre over these past 25+ years.  In 2021 we were extremely excited to expand our yearly financial support to include their new Youth Emerging VOICES Campaign.


“This unique program recognizes the importance young people play within our community, and gives voice to their ideas and stories through their participation in the Arts. We greatly encourage anyone looking to support the arts to consider this wonderful program.”

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In 2021, 4th Line’s dedication to students did not waiver despite the challenges of the pandemic: partnering with Trent University’s Traill College, they employed a group of young, diverse regional youth in a new initiative, The 2021 Young Company. These young artists worked with industry professionals to produce livestream virtual play readings and performance pieces.

4th Line Theatre’s Emerging VOICES Youth Apprenticeship Program requires an average of $20,000 in funding annually in order to effectively train youth volunteers. 

Donations to this program are used to pay for workshops, vocal and dialect coaching, acting and movement training, choreography and fight direction as well as technical production mentoring.

Generally, in the summer season, as many as 60 or more youth actors are engaged in productions, each contributing more than 210 hours, while learning to work collaboratively to achieve artistic excellence. The Double Your Impact with Nexicom initiative will ensure the program’s success in the theatre’s upcoming 30th season.

Donations can be made online  or by calling the 4th Line Theatre Box Office & Administrative Centre at 705-932-4445 until March 1st to qualify for match by Nexicom.


Emerging Voices

4th Line Theatre's unique program recognizes the crucial role young people play within their community and gives voice to their ideas and stories.

Emerging VOICES Youth Apprenticeship Program

4th Line Theatre employs six fulltime staff who run the organization year-round. In the summer months, the company hires approximately 145 additional individuals. Of those 145 individuals, we involve approximately 65 young people interested in performance arts, culture and heritage, providing the opportunity for them to experience working in a professional theatre company.

Without the fundraising assistance to our Emerging VOICES program, 4th Line Theatre would not be able to achieve the scale and quality that our productions have become known for and our community youth would miss out on the opportunity to gain experience, skills and training that will ultimately help them to explore their artistic goals.

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As a not for profit outdoor theatre, we are unique, not only because of the beautiful countryside that serves as a backdrop for our productions, but in that we feature professional cast and crew working alongside, and providing mentorship, to community youth volunteer actors.

Our Emerging Voices apprenticeship progr
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Written by Siobhán MacQuarrie

Derbhile and Siobhán MacQuarrie - Melissa Payne and Aisling MacQuarrie - Caoimhe MacQuarrie
Photos by Wayne Eardley, Brookside Studio and Melissa Payne

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