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Ray Baltzer: The Principal Actor
One day at school I was sent to the principal’s office… why I went is not the issue, I’m innocent I swear… but what a long walk down the hallway to get to Ray Baltzer’s Office… who would have thought some twenty years later I’d be on stage with him, sharing a bow!
Ray Baltzer was born in Annapolis Royal in 1943. He was raised in Middleton, calling the town his “Norman Rockwell painting” and although he played many sports, Ray excelled in theater, performing and singing in musicals, choirs and doing Solo acts in Church. He married his high school sweetheart Muffy in 1964 and they’ve been together ever since. Ray graduated from Acadia with a BEd in 1966 and got a teaching job at Central Kings Rural High School a year later. The following year he became vice- principal and eventually principal of that school. In 1979, the year I was born, Ray transferred to Kings County Academy where I fondly remember him (and his office!) and he remained principal there until 1988 when he transferred again to Evangeline Middle School, the first school of it’s kind in Nova Scotia.
Ray helped do a lot of really innovative things there to create a more appropriate environment for early adolescents. He retired from EMS in ‘97 and did 5 years of consultant work on Middle School Philosophy and Programming. He says, “To have the opportunity to set up EMS as a school dedicated to that concept of a better kind of place for this unique age group, was a highlight of my career and then to have the opportunity after retirement to work with teachers all over the Maritimes on the same theme was a great way to wind it all down.”
And then the call of the golf course got too strong, as well as the curling rink and the stage so Ray packed the consulting in and became just your average sports and theatre bum.
Ray’s acting experience began in 1952 in a two person play, The Honeymooners, at the age of nine! Ray was involved with acting in school, church and university, and after a long hiatus, in 1993, Ray took a role in the Wolfville Centennial musical, Song of Mud Creek.
Over the last 12 years, Ray has played Mr. Fezziwig in five Fezziwig Productions and then in the last three years, he’s had stand out parts in the Fezziwig Pantos Cinderella, Snow White and Get Hooked! 2013 has been busy so far, preparing for 2 shows back to back: 42nd Street with Quick as a Wink in Windsor (opening May 31st) and Stage prophets Peter Pan (playing now in Wolfville), playing Mr Smee again for the second time this year and Ray is loving every minute of it. Check out www.quickasawinktheatre.ca for 42nd street details.
Ray’s future plans include more acting, fishing, travelling and enjoying the best part of the province: Wolfville. Ray says “What a great place to grow up, live your life and raise your kids! I am fond of telling people that I came to Acadia and never left Wolfville. Why would you? It has it all! “ And so do you Ray… so do you!
~ Mike Butler
What a fun and random life I lead sometimes. I was walking down Central Avenue a few weeks ago and ran into a friend of mine who was taking part in a photo shoot. I pulled her right out of a shot so I could hug her and have a reunion of sorts… the photographer gave me a weird once over and I apologized and went on my merry way, thinking I would never have the chance to make it up to her for disrupting her shoot. Well, ladies and gentleman, that photographer was Liana vanderhof-Rhodenizer, and here’s me making it up to her.
Liana grew up in the beautiful Annapolis Valley; she’s married and has two adorable children (9 year old Kalana and 14 month old baby boy Hudson).
Liana works full time at Holland Home Leisure in New Minas, as manager of the Hot Tub and Patio Furniture Divisions. This has been her “day job” for the last eight years and she loves the work she does.
I know what you’re saying: “Wait a minute Mike, wasn’t she a photographer in the first paragraph?” Well yes she IS, just hold your horses! Liana is also a wonderful photographer. She has always had a love for photography and a true passion for the way a camera can capture a moment and make it last forever.
Liana says “I am a strong believer in following dreams, making time for yourself and doing what you love! Photography started as a hobby, and it turned into a passion and the passion turned into L. Rhodenizer Photography!”
Liana specializes in Children, Couples, Families, and a special shoot she calls “All About You” which turns you into a super model for the day! She custom designs a shoot to suit your personality and to showcase your inner beauty. I have seen the results from the shoot I interrupted and they are amazing. Check out Liana’s work on Facebook at facebook.com/L.RhodenizerPhotography; This is where you can find upcoming specials and promotions. You can also email Liana at email@example.com or call 902-692-1383 to set up an appointment or ask questions. I have pored over her photos online many times this past week and I love her work. Brace yourselves everyone, the photos of the children are priceless!
When asked what she loves most about this area Liana replied “The Annapolis Valley is a photographer’s dream, with so many hidden beautiful spots to uncover, how could I not love it here”
Liana plans to keep growing her business and learning more about the art of photography and seeing where it takes her. She is thrilled to be able to meet so many people (politely or otherwise) and have them experience a comfortable photo shoot. Her favorite part is giving them the photos that they can cherish forever.
So take advantage of the beautiful weather coming up that hugs this area every year and take advantage of having a great photographer right next door; call Liana to set up an appointment. Grab some friends, family, your partner, or just treat yourself to the experience of a professional photo shoot. Snap her up so she can snap you up!
~ Mike Butler
a celebration of Al Whittle’s 60th anniversary as theatre manager at Wolfville’s Acadia Cinema
It was a very young Al Whittle who first stepped off the train in 1953 into his “first adventure in Wolfville…I was amazed.” Whittle began a lifelong career that day that lasted until his retirement in 2000. In celebration of Al’s contribution to the cultural life of the Annapolis Valley, he is being honoured with a gala event of live performance and film on Friday, April 26.
Al Whittle was hired in 1953 by the Spencer family of Saint John, at the time making him the youngest theatre manager in Canada. The Spencers had rebuilt Wolfville’s wooden Orpheum Theatre (1923) into the modern, well-equipped Acadia Theatre (1947).
When Whittle arrived “[Wolfville] was a booming town with four gas stations, four grocery stores – anything you wanted, it was in Wolfville. There were no bars or lounges, so the place for entertainment was the theatre.”
Built with steel and bricks, the theatre Al began managing in 1953 was not only “fire proof” but also had the first radiant heating system in a Canadian theatre, using “two miles of piping under the concrete floor.” The theatre was capable of holding approximately 700 people. A “Sweets Show-case” tempted customers as they passed and the interior boasted “velour curtains in wine, edged with gold”, matching “beautifully upholstered spring seated chairs.” Whittle supervised later renovations that saw the main theatre divided into two, and later three/separate cinemas to counter the advent of competing multiplexes.
Whittle, now an honorary board member of the Acadia Cinema Co-op, is still a fixture at events., As a founding and honorary board member of the Fundy Film Society, Al can be found most taking tickets for their Sunday matinee screenings.“It was an interesting career. I wish it was still going, because I still miss it.
Tickets for the gala celebration are $15, $12 for students, and on sale now at the Box of Delights 902-542-9511
For more information please contact:
Mary Harwell, Al Whittle Theatre, 542-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Theatre, dance, opera, rock and classical music, art from major world museums, sponsored by local businesses and individuals–the possibilities are exciting.
The opening performance is People, a new comedy from the National Theatre in London, written by Alan Bennett, known for The History Boys and The Madness of King George.
People stars the award-winning Francis de la Tour as ex-Sixties model Lady Stacpoole, facing old age in a huge house she can no longer afford to keep up.
Should she hold an elaborate garage sale? turn the place over to the National Trust to become a museum? or rent it out to a porn movie company who need a place to film Reach for the Thigh?
Like all comedies, there are important issues under consideration. If something doesn’t have a price, does it have a value? Should people and houses just be allowed to age as gracefully as possible–or “have work done”?
To get on a mailing list, contact Kathy Day: email@example.com