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Free child care at the theatre? Yes, it's true

Patrick Street teams up with The Stage New West to give parents a chance to enjoy a matinee of A Little Night Music

Patrick Street Productions is giving parents an extra incentive to come out and see its production of A Little Night Music: free child care during a matinee performance.

On Saturday, May 20, parents can check out the 2 p.m. matinee while leaving their children in care, thanks to a program being run in partnership with The Stage New Westminster.

“I’m so excited about this I can’t even tell you!” says Katey Wright, co-artistic producer of Patrick Street Productions. “I’ve wanted to do this for years.”

Peter Jorgensen, Wright’s husband and co-artistic producer, notes that the child-care plan all came together quickly after a friend made a comment on social media about how it would be great to have child care offered at the theatre.

Stefanie Swinnard, who owns and operates The Stage New West – a downtown studio that offers music and dance classes for kids – saw the comment and stepped up to suggest she’d pitch in. One meeting over coffee later, and the plan came to fruition.

The Stage already has everything set up: experienced early childhood educators, space for programming, resources to keep kids amused, and a location conveniently close to the Anvil Centre. For the matinee, kids aged five to 12 can enjoy an afternoon of theatre games, art activities and, weather permitting, a trip to a nearby park.

Parents don’t have to make a special trip anywhere: caregivers will pick the kids up at Anvil Centre and return them to the lobby for the end of the show. (All they have to do is provide a snack for the kid.)

And, best of all, it’s completely free – something Wright calls “astonishing.”

“I hope that people take advantage of it,” she says.

Jorgensen notes that many parents don’t get out to the theatre often because the price of tickets plus child care – not to mention the hassle of arranging care – can simply be too much.

“We really wanted to remove those barriers,” he says.

Registration is limited, so parents must sign up ahead. For more information, see

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