Kids and Company season finale free for all residents

By Elisa Nguyen
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Kids and Company has one final performance left for the season, and to celebrate, everyone is invited to enjoy the show at no cost.

On Saturday, May 13 at 6:30 pm at the Townshend Theatre, all are invited to enjoy The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, a production based on a book by Tomson Highway.

The story is of a windless little mosquito from Manitoba who has all the whimsy and wise humor any audience could ask for. Themes of being a misfit will resonate with anyone who has felt like an outsider in their life. The main character finds her voice through song and learns to communicate directly with friends.

Nadine Cousineau, executive director for Kids & Company, said she is really happy with how the season has gone.

The most recent show had over 100 audience members, Cousineau said. She hopes that making the season finale free for all audience members will increase accessibility and enable as many people to enjoy the show as possible. “We’ve been really happy with the turnout. Whoever wants to come out and see the show, we’re really happy to have it for them,” she said.

Shows are funded through the Canadian Heritage Fund and the Ontario Arts Council. The goal of Kids and Company is to introduce children and their families in the Rainy River District to diverse entertainment, fostering an appreciation of the arts and enhancing the quality of life in northern Ontario.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit in 1994, Kids and Company was halted once the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a nation-wide lockdown. Many of the former board members moved onto other things after a two-year hiatus, forcing this year’s board to quickly learn the ropes.

The only former board members that remained were Allison Dresen, current grant writer, and Nicole LePine, current social media and website designer.

Couineau said she joined the board after seeing an article in the paper about the urgent need for volunteers. Thinking of her now three-year-old son, she knew she needed to help out if she wanted the program to be offered.

Nicole Joy-Fraser plays Mary Jane Mosquito, joined by Shane O’Reagan as
the accompanist, in a 2019 production of The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito. . The play will be the season finale for Kids and Co, as they get ready for a new season in the fall. To celebrate a successful year, the commit- tee has decided to waive ticket prices for all attendees.
– photo by Lauren Garbutt

“I actually have a three year old son now and I had been planning on taking him to the shows. And so when I saw the article that they needed help, I felt like I had to step up if I wanted it to continue,” she said.

“It actually worked really well, it drew some people in. We have a really awesome board now. Everyone on there works so hard, they’re all really committed to kids and company. And so yeah, we’re all planning on staying on going forward. And we’re really looking forward to our next season.”

While it was a learning process in the beginning, Couineau said the team “hit their stride” after the first show when everything came together. Now with little extra experience under their belt, she said the program will only keep getting better.

“I feel like the board is really happy with how the season went,” she said. “And it’s just gonna keep getting better.”

For more information on Kids and Company, former shows and how to get tickets, visit