The Society of Versatile Entertainers is a registered not-for-profit society for groups with the purpose…
- …to teach and encourage seniors to perform and entertain,
- …to help seniors maintain their mental and physical health,
- …and to give back to the community from a lifetime of experiences.
Any funds raised by or donated to the Society will go towards costs incurred for costumes, props, transportation, stage equipment and personnel in the form of teachers, drivers and aids.
Society President Susie Francis has been an entertainer for 65 years and is the driving force behind the Versatile Entertainers. Coming from a show business family dating back over 100 years, she brings to the audience, a loveable sense of fun and she does it all; singing, dancing, comedy and directing.
The original Versatiles started out in the 1930s when Susie’s grandfather Frank Dowie and a number of well known Vancouver artists got together to perform in English Bay during the summer. They charged 50 cents for adult admission to the show – children got in free. In 2004 a group of seniors asked Susie to form a new troupe so they could continue entertaining in their community. After 9 years of performing in the lower mainland the new group realized they needed more structure, and on January 31st 2013, the Society of Versatile Entertainers was registered.
New Groups are Welcome
Other seniors performance groups are welcome to join the Society and gain access to not for profit status, provided they are not already under another registered society.
Not for profit status can provide opportunities for lower rent for use of facilities, and may also allow groups to apply for grants, which can be available from various community sources.
Any member group should be composed of up to 30 members who are primarily over the age of 55. They may have younger members in the group but the majority must be seniors.