Sarmiento hired to develop Concert Hall plan

By Cecilia Nasmith

The Town of Cobourg's Community Services Division is pleased to announce that Antonio Sarmiento has been hired to act as an artistic and creative consultant over the coming year to develop a strategic and operational plan for the Victoria Hall Concert Hall.

Sarmiento's background includes a bachelor-of-arts degree in theatre and fine arts from Fordham University at Lincoln Centre in New York, as well as graduating from Valley Forge Military Academy and College, the Hollywood Film Institute and the Disney Institute.

He has more than 20 years' experience in similar roles with a variety of national and international theatres and performing-arts centres – most recently as artistic director and general manager of Port Hope's Cameco Capitol Arts Centre and head of production at Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation.

In his work at the Capitol, he produced a number of live-theatre productions, receiving awards and accolades for his achievements from the Northumberland Centra Chamber of Commerce and the Business Achievement Awards.

The Concert Hall provides a central venue for plays, concerts and musical theatre performed by guests of local, national and international renown, from local folk singer Aengus Finnan to Canadian country-music star Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo fame.

In order to build on the venue's historic past and significant achievements in order to ensure a better position for the future, the Community Services Division will be launching a thorough review for optimal alignment with the impending Cultural Master Plan.

Sarmiento will be leading this review with the support and leadership of the Community Services Division staff.

Director of community services Dean Hustwick noted in the press release that the Concert Hall has been a significant cultural asset for the town (and surrounding region) for almost 160 years

“Antonio Sarmiento has been a cultural and artistic leader in this are for many years, and has had many great achievements throughout his career,” Hustwick added.

“Together, along with our Community Services Division staff, we will position the Concert Hall for even greater success a a cultural anchor in this community.”

Sarmiento stated in the bulletin that he is pleased for the opportunity to continue his creative career in Cobourg, “the place my family and I have been so lucky to call our home for 10 years now.

“The Concert Hall at Victoria Hall is a magnificent venue that's central to our community. I look forward to engaging council, town staff and citizens on how we can continue to deliver innovative artistic experiences we can all be proud of.”