Theatre community mourns death of Arts Centre’s Classen

Longtime patrons of the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre were saddened last week by the news that Brent Classen died on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Longtime patrons of the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre were saddened last week by the news that Brent Classen, the centre’s assistant technical director, and a tower of strength to the many amateur and professional performers who had taken the big stage over the years, died on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Kirsten Schrader, the centre’s Arts and Culture Division manager, announced it to the general community, saying the popular Classen had “suffered a stroke a few short weeks ago. Although he was doing better last week, suddenly he was rushed to hospital on Monday after having suffered a second major stroke.”

She praised his work since joining the centre in the early 1980s.

“He was one of the most knowledgeable people in the theatre industry, and was a key member of our team. He was a very dear friend to many of us, and our hearts are heavy today. We wish the sincerest condolences to Brent’s family.”

Classen’s efforts were not just confined to the theatre. His expert knowledge was also always at the ready to serve such community events as the Halloween Train and the Christmas Express at the BC Forest Discovery Centre.