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Performance Centre to be renamed in honour of Miles MacDonald

  • August 2 2023
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH – Last Tuesday, July 24, at the conclusion of the Miles MacDonald Appreciation Concert in Guysborough at the Chedabucto Place Performance Centre (CPPC), it was announced that the facility would be renamed the Miles MacDonald Performance Centre.

MacDonald, who passed away last November, held many roles in the community of Guysborough, from school principal to municipal councillor; but, he is perhaps best known for his volunteerism, which included serving as chair of the Chedabucto Performance Association (CPA), which oversees the CPPC.

CPA board member Phillip Hochman made the announcement to a standing ovation.

The Journal spoke to former CPA Chair Jim Muise, who held that position up until the organization’s annual general meeting held last month, about the decision to rename the facility.

Muise said that, in the board meetings following MacDonald’s death, there was a decision to honour his contribution to the facility in some tangible way. Hochman strongly advocated for renaming the facility and that course of action was adopted in March.

Since the theatre is connected to Chedabucto Place, the home of Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy, the decision had to go through a process with the school’s governing body – the Strait Regional Centre for Education.

“In order to change the sign,” said Muise, “we had to go through them [SRCE], so we went through Barb Avery, the principal, who would be our direct contact…And then through a letter from her…it went directly to Paul Landry [regional executive director of education for the SRCE].

“And one of the things that they [SRCE] required was, they agreed with the concept in principle, but one of the things that they needed was an endorsement from the family. And so, at that point, I contacted Donna [MacDonald’s wife], actually talked to her personally about it, and she hesitated a bit, but then she said she would be incredibly honoured and she agreed to write a letter,” Muise told The Journal.

Asked about the cost of renaming the facility, which includes new signage and its installation, Muise said, “It’s our understanding that the school board [SRCE] has taken it upon themselves to support the concept and therefore will be doing the work.”

Deanna Gillis, coordinator of communications for the SRCE, confirmed on July 31 via an email to The Journal, that the organization, “will be working closely with the association on the details related to the name change.”

A date for the unveiling of the new sign has not yet been set.