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He staged eight shows in Port Moody. The last is next month

Mike Arseneault announced today, May 14, he’ll be closing the IOCO Players Theatre and returning to the U.S. to pursue other creative passions.

Just three days after mounting a play in Port Moody, the founding director of the IOCO Theatre Players is bowing out.

In an email to supporters today, May 14, Mike Arseneault said he’ll be closing up the company and returning to the United States to pursue other creative passions.

“I feel like a made a contribution and lifted the community up,” he told the Tri-City News. “I’m proud about what I’ve done here.”

Arseneault, who moved to Port Moody after retiring as the senior global retail brand director at Nike in Beaverton, Ore., said he’s fielded numerous messages, including from Mayor Meghan Lahti, about his departure and the loss of community theatre in the City of the Arts.

Since starting the IOCO Players Theatre three years ago, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arseneault has staged eight productions, including a dinner theatre performance, three private table readings, a Zoom reading and a musical theatre workshop.

Its most recent production was on Saturday, May 11, at the Inlet Theatre: a reprise of Love Letters with Zoe Royer, a School District 43 trustee and former city councillor.

In fact, Arseneault invited several key leaders to be part of his shows such as Lahti, Coun. Amy Lubik and Deanna Kayne, the executive director of PoMoArts.

The company’s last production is LOVE, a musical theatre concert honouring the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber; it runs from June 13 to 15 and June 20 to 22 at the Inlet United Church (2315 Spring St., Port Moody). Tickets are now on sale.

The group’s impact over the past three years was significant.

In 2022, the IOCO Players Theatre was nominated as a community builder by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and, last year, Arseneault clinched the City of Port Moody’s arts award for his contributions.

"With your support, IOCO Players Theatre has literally changed the arts scene in Port Moody and re-energized this community in so many ways," Arseneault wrot in his email today, which he also posted on Facebook (see below).

"We have entertained hundreds of local and greater Vancouver theatre lovers, promoted numerous arts-related small businesses and provided on-stage and backstage opportunities for so many locals and Tri-City residents."

And while he is unsure when he’ll be leaving Port Moody, the New Brunswick native said he’ll be taking on two performances for a newly formed ensemble in Oregon in July — as in Port Moody, portraying the role of Andrew in Love Letters.

IOCO Players Theatre founding director Mike Arseneault writes a public message stating he's closing the Port Moody company after its ninth and final production in June 2024. By IOCO Players Theatre/Facebook