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Giving voice to Canadians through the arts, the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts is a unique institution in Canada, bringing together the best in arts education for youth with community and professional artist programs. The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts is a research and development centre for the arts of all disciplines and cultures, and is proud to help facilitate the development of new art from around the world in wonderful facilities on a spectacular farm in rural Nova Scotia.
Two Planks and a Passion Theatre was founded by the husband and wife team of Ken Schwartz and Chris O’Neill in 1992. The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, as part of a larger vision, came into focus in 2000, with the construction beginning in 2003. With the Theatre as an anchor partner producing award-winning plays on-site during the summer months, the Centre is steadily achieving the vision of becoming a place for multidisciplinary arts education and development that serves working artists and helps create the next generation of artists of all disciplines. The lifelong learning element that has been an integral part of that vision since the Centre’s inception gives emerging and established professional artists of all disciplines opportunities to enhance their skills, their craft, and their impact.
The Centre has a strong staff complement and is now working to complete the rest of the facilities to ensure a wonderful master class experience for artists of all disciplines. Our ability to serve the performing arts as well as the individual creative pursuits is an important part of the philosophy of the centre.
The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts is on the North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley, only a few minutes from the storied resting place at Blomidon of the Mi’kmaq’s Great Spiritual Chief, Glooscap. The Annapolis Valley, one of Canada’s great agricultural communities, was first settled by the Mi’kMaq people, and then farmed by the Acadians from France in a great social experiment in egalitarian living that began more than 400 years ago. After the British took over the area in 1700, the village of Canning (originally called Apple Tree Landing) was founded as a shipbuilding town, with a tidal river bringing tall ships in and out and supporting the thriving farming industry.
The Centre itself is based on 178 acres of farm and forest with views of the Bay of Fundy where the world’s highest tides rise and fall over 30 feet twice daily. Our forests offer fabulous walking trails—glimpses of deer, eagles, hawks, and porcupines can be a special part of the Ross Creek experience.
The Centre’s rural setting is enhanced by its access to local amenities, both in the village of Canning and in the nearby town of Wolfville. The town, home of Acadia University, has fine dining, a co-operative cinema house showing films from the festival circuit, and wonderful cafes, bookshops and galleries. Wolfville is a bastion of culture adding to and connecting with the Centre’s activities. There is also a contemporary shopping community close by, with an 8-cinema complex, and all necessary stores.