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Musicians for Mt. Tabor strike chord with community

Musicians for Mt. Tabor rocked the Regent Theatre stage Monday night raising $4,000 in a fundraiser for Prince Edward County’s “other great theatre”.
“This event wouldn’t happen without the never-ending dedication of local performers, said Janet Kellough, emcee of the event with Rick Zimmerman. “Since every one of these musicians has performed on the Mt. Tabor stage, and therefore understands just how precious Mt. Tabor is as a performance space, they were only too happy to agree to come out and perform a couple of songs.”
She also thanked Jim McMillan and the Regent Theatre for donating the stage for the evening.
“We are so blessed in this County with two fabulous performing spaces. This evening is a true example of community with one space helping out another.”
“We are so incredibly lucky to have a building like Mount Tabor in our community,” said Musicians for Mt. Tabor director Lori Farrington. “For this fundraising effort we decided to focus on performers who have an association with Mt. Tabor and a style that lends itself to an informal, kitchen-party style of concert.”
Mt. Tabor, a former church in Milford, needs extensive renovations to satisfy fire regulations and building codes. Friends and community members have formed the TaborFix Committee and fundraising efforts are ongoing. The County of Prince Edward has made some improvements and The Marysburgh Mummers, whose official home has been Mt. Tabor Theatre for the past 25 years, has committed upward of $10,000 to the upgrades plus hundreds of volunteer hours.
Brian Colgate was the high bidder in the live auction for an early 1980s Stringband poster, framed by SideStreet Gallery, and featuring the late Zeke Mazurek, fiddler and frequent performer at Mt. Tabor Playhouse. The print was donated by Zeke’s wife Danyne, from his large collection of memorabilia.
“The print is a unique collectible of both an iconic Canadian band and a beloved local musician,” Kellough told the crowd.
The winner of a basket of local goodies valued at $470 was Barb Hobson.
Donations are always welcome. Mail to:   TaborFix c/o Diane Underhill, Treasurer, 104 Goodman Crescent, RR2 Milford, ON  K0K 2P0

The History of Mount Tabor Playhouse

by TaborFix (http://taborfix.blogspot.com)
Mount Tabor Playhouse sits on a height of land overlooking the village of Milford.  The building, a former United Church, consists of the theatre that seats 140 people and Bredin Hall, built in 1997. The hall contains a costume room, snack bar and washrooms.  This replaced the original Sunday Schoolroom. The land was bought to build Mount Tabor Church in 1833 by trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  A second church, Wesleyan Methodist, and eventually United, was erected between 1865 and 1867.  Mount Tabor Church remained vibrant and served Milford and the community for 100 years. This church was built mostly by the brains, blood and muscle of one man, Doctor Hautry Bredin. He spent much of his own money on this ‘Temple to the Lord’ which was dedicated in 1867 by Rev. James Thompson. On June 25, 1967, Rev. J. A. Davidson preached at the centennial service which was also the last one. His topic was, “Has the Church had it?”  South Marysburgh Township bought the church for one dollar in 1968. Eighteen years were to pass before it became a theatre and home for The Marysburgh Mummers and used by various other performers, both local and international. The most notable feature is the steeple which soars high above the village.  In order to paint it, Dr. Bredin was slung up with pulleys, since no others wished to climb to such a lofty and dangerous place. With this building’s conversion to a theatre, numerous renovations by volunteers have occurred while acknowledging its church origins. Shavings and a tool from the original construction were found during the building of the stage balcony. Rev. Davidson said, during the last sermon, that “…greater things will be done…” Certainly, the building has taken a different tack from that of weekly worship. After 18 years of sitting empty, several concerned citizens joined together to discuss possible ways to avoid having the beautiful landmark fall into disrepair.  They discussed different possibilities, but soon discovered they all had a love of theatre.  They decided to put on a play!  In 1985, they produced “Look Who’s Laughing”.  Since that time, The Marysburgh Mummers have officially become a recreation group under The County of Prince Edward Parks and Recreation.  Mt. Tabor has become a well-loved and appreciated performance space. Other groups and clubs including Brownies, Scouts, Cubs, Ventures, 4-H, performing artists, Milford Fair, and even a wedding have all contributed to this historic site and in doing so, have turned the focus of worship in the older days into the newer focus of bringing people together for skill building and entertainment through performance opportunities.

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