Saltspring Island holds a dear place in my heart. I have been travelling there every summer to one of my best friends’ cabin for many years now and always have an exceedingly enjoyable time. The island welcomes and envelops me in a familiar and comfortable bubble of happiness; I feel invigorated, rejuvenated and refreshed through my time spent there and always look forward to my annual trip. Likewise I was looking forward to seeing Cavendish’s Canadian classic ‘It’s Snowing on Saltspring,’ both to recreate the feelings generated by my yearly visit and to experience the success of a locally set story…
‘It’s Snowing on Saltspring’ centers around the main character of Bill Bannister, a man who, together with his wife, has just purchased a piece of property on the island and is expecting the birth of their first child. Strikingly immature, closed off and fearfully close to a meltdown, he exhibits signs and symptoms of the desire to flee the scene, obviously in distress over the recent and imminent major life changes, and is found by his wife to be part of the disturbingly large statistic of men who have a bag packed and ready to go when faced with the prospect of a child.
(Spoiler Alert!) Through a dream filled journey to the North Pole, and a little reassurance from Kris Kindle himself, Bill undergoes an epiphany about his own life, relationship and love, emerging a newly changed and courageous man. It is a classic story line not unfamiliar to audiences, but Cavendish injects personal aspects of her own character and community into the story, as well as a certain Canadian charm; Already a beloved figure in our city the play has become a beloved fixture for the theatre community as well.
It is always a joy to experience artistic creations that have a personal meaning- whether through the setting, characters or plots, and there is something infinitely special to that innate connection that is created by your own city ( or province! ) being featured. I felt drawn to many local authors as a child for the stories they would write that were based in Vancouver, continued as a teenager to adore watching television series that were set here, and as an adult have a fascination for plays with locally inspired plots.
At a time of year when family and friends are prioritized and your local community is cherished and celebrated, ‘It’s Snowing on Saltspring’ exemplifies the Canadian Christmas cheer in us all.
Disclaimer: As a theatre blogger for GVPTA, my ticket was provided free of charge to this production. That being said, opinions and statements made are my own. This is not a review, but a post meant to promote discussion within the Vancouver Theatre Community. GVPTA supports its member companies.