To say Chelsea Restall is passionate about the arts in Airdrie would be an understatement.

The local actor opened Torchlight Theatre in 2015 to provide locals with a safe and fun space to grow in their craft within the world of live theatre.

“I think one of the things that really spurred me on was bringing great entertainment closer to home,” she says.

She wanted to create a stepping-stone company – a place where emerging artists could work with seasoned professionals to learn the arts and bring theatre to the community.

“Because art is such a creative and emotionally driven expression, I think it has the power to penetrate deep into people’s hearts and minds,” she says.

“It is thought provoking, it is culture creating and it is a lot of fun! “

Torchlight’s SPARK Youth Program is a place where kids can be exposed to the world of theatre. The program offers acting classes and the opportunity for youth to perform in productions, including Prescription: Murder by William Link and Richard Levinson, which ran from Nov. 21 to 30.

“Chelsea is highly creative and works to build others up and encourage them to be their absolute best, whether they are on stage or behind the scenes,” says Kate Dekker, Restall’s friend and nominator.

Torchlights performances take place at the new Polaris Centre for the Performing Arts in the Wagon Wheel Business District, behind CrossIron Mills mall.