Kids and Company may suspend operations

Elisa Nguyen
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A team of board members is a defining factor of any program that runs like a well oiled machine. When the Board dissipates, the manpower required to keep a program going is lost. Organization and administration tasks get placed on the few remaining and the program becomes less feasible, or may suspend, if help is not found.

Kids and Company, a live family entertainment series bringing fun and creativity to Fort Frances and the Rainy River District, may suspend for the 2022/2023 season if a Board is not established soon.

Allison Dresen, one of the remaining board members hoping to revive Kids and Co, believes it’s important to provide affordable and high quality activities for families.

She said that the program had a great run pre-pandemic but is now experiencing challenges after a two-year hiatus. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to run like everybody else for two years. And in that time, most of our board members, their kids have aged out, and so they have moved on to other things,” she said.

“And I do not have a board to help run programming. That’s why I’m just trying to get the word out that I need board members, I need volunteers, people that are willing to put in a few hours four or five times a year, maybe some board meetings. It’s not really a huge commitment, other than the days of the show. But without volunteers, we just can’t run the program,” Dresen said.

“It’s a wonderful way for families to be able to do something that’s affordable, that’s kid friendly where there’s not always a lot of things. Most of our shows have lots of audience participation, and it’s a blast to go to the shows and to see the kids having fun. It’s a great night. I just think it’s great that our community is able to offer something like this.”

“Even as a parent, you know, attending with my own kids, they’re really fun, entertaining shows. And just seeing your kids, and the other kids having so much fun and being so involved with the performance, it’s just really neat to see.”

Dresen said that shows are potentially booked for November.

“But if I don’t get a board, if I can’t get the help to get the shows put together logistically, then unfortunately, they will have to be canceled.”

The roles listed on the current website display former board member roles, such as a treasurer, advertising director, sponsorship director, or student volunteer coordinator. Dresen said that the website hasn’t been updated yet, and that only she and Nicole LePine are remaining from the board.

Dresen said that all the roles are open for volunteers.

“Our job is to help with the advertising and have volunteers the night of the show to, you know, take tickets and to assist with the performers once they get here. We set up hotels for them if they need, and that sort of thing. The program has been running so long here, and it’s been run so well by the past board, that it basically runs itself.”

For specific roles such as the student volunteer coordinator, they would help manage a team of student volunteers who can also earn volunteer hours for their help the day of the show.

“And it’s a really neat way to just help the community. Everyone talks about how there’s nothing for families to do in this community. Well, this is an opportunity for families, and I would hate for us to lose it because we don’t have the volunteers.”

To help keep the Kids and Company series running this 2022/2023 season, contact Allison Dresen at