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Salmon Row 'likely' to return

A sell-out theatrical production will almost certainly be back in Richmond next year - even though only half the money it needs to run is on the table.

A sell-out theatrical production will almost certainly be back in Richmond next year - even though only half the money it needs to run is on the table.

A request from the city's arts, culture and heritage department asked for $200,000 from last year's $4.5 million surplus to bring back Salmon Row, a hugely popular play telling the stories of Steveston's waterfront from the 1800s to the 1941 internment of the Japanese community.

The request, however, was last in line of a list of priorities drawn up by senior city staff and was way below the cut-off point where the cash dried up.

But after city council juggled the priorities, Salmon Row was bumped up the line and was handed $100,000 to bring the play back in the summer of 2013, with the hope of making up the difference in sponsorship.

The play is produced by Vancouverbased theatre company Mortal Coil and its general manager, Marietta Kozak, said that cash promise will "more than likely" be enough to secure a return.

"It's a great step forward and means the show will probably come back," an excited Kozak said, after learning of the $100,000 pledge from the News.

"The most important thing is the support of the council, that will help leverage the rest of the money through sponsorship.

"This is fantastic news and we're absolutely delighted. It's a really important show for us and for the community and we loved the way that community has taken to the show."

Kozak said the show won't return until 2013 because it takes that long to pull it all together, with the actors - many of whom are from Richmond - all off doing other projects.

The $100,000 allocation from last year's surplus still has to be formally approved by city council next week.

Salmon Row played to nine soldout audiences at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard last August, where admission was by donation.

The play focused on the Steveston canneries, which was plagued by the hotbed of racism throughout many decades.

Salmon Row delved into the stories of immigration, labour strife, ethnic conflict and of painful memories.

acampbell@richmond-news.com