Drumheller lies in the heart of the Canadian Badlands, approximately 1.5 hours NE of Calgary and 3 hours SE of Edmonton.
Physical Address: 605 17 Street SW
Mailing Address: Box 457
Canada T0J 0Y0
Box Office Hours: Mon to Fri, 9:00am to 4:00pm
The Canadian Badlands Passion Play portrays the life of Jesus, increases awareness and skill in the Arts, unifies our community around common projects, and encourages tourism by creating significant cultural attractions.
The Badlands Amphitheatre is Canada's largest outdoor theatre venue. It's flagship production, the Canadian Badlands Passion Play performs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the last three weeks in July. This timeless story of faith, hope, and love is told by hundreds of volunteer actors in a spectacular natural setting that will transport you back 2000 years. In August, the Badlands Amp hosts an annual concert series that has showcased national legends like Tom Cochrane, Blue Rodeo, Paul Brandt, and Randy Bachman.
The dream of creating a Badlands Passion Play started in the 1960s when the Honorable Gordon Taylor, Minister of Highways for Alberta, suggested forming a society to produce a Passion Play in Drumheller. In 1988, LaVerne Erickson, joined in and formed a steering committee of local community organizations to work toward bringing the dream to reality.
From 1990 through 1994, local community support and a growing volunteer base enabled the Society to target the summer of 1994 as the date for its first production. The 1,150-seat amphitheatre was completely sold out for all five shows. Hundreds of volunteers made it all happen – and volunteer actors and performance day volunteers remain the backbone of the organization.
Since that first opening night there have been many changes and additions to bring us to today:
1995 - The seating capacity doubled and a choir loft for 300 was built into the hillside.
2001 - The Jerusalem Wall was built to house the production offices and Audience Services.
2006 - The performance was entirely renewed with a new script by Royal Sproule. The play featured the inclusion of a narrator who helped to make the story more personal while helping the audience understand changes in location and time.
2011 - A new "Gospel of John" script premiered and the Passion Play was featured in an award-winning documentary.
2013 - The Passion Play was awarded the Alto “Pride of Alberta” award from Alberta Tourism.
2014 – The American Bus Association named the Canadian Badlands Passion Play one of the top 100 events in North America.
2015 - Tom Cochrane and Red Rider kick off the first Canadian Icons Concert Series before a packed Amphitheatre. The Chambers of Conference of Alberta presented the Passion Play with the Award of Distinction in Arts and Culture.
2016 – A new script based on the Gospel According to Luke debuted, and the Badlands Amphitheatre received two Travel Alberta awards for the Canadian Icons Concert Series.
2017 – The Passion Play won the Canadian Badlands Tourism “Tourism Champion Award” and our fantastic volunteers of the Passion Play were honoured with Travel Alberta's “Service Excellence” award.
2018 - A complete seating restoration saw 2500 new seats in the Amphitheatre for our 25th Anniversary Season.
The Canadian Badlands Passion Play continues to receive 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor and Google, and exciting new programs like this year's "Opera in the Badlands" continue to make the Badlands Amphitheatre an international destination.
The Badlands Amphitheatre is Canada’s answer to the highly rated Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado.
- Tom Cochrane and Red Rider
Vance Neudorf – Executive Director
Kimberley Church – Office Manager
Peter Church – Administrative Assistant
Sienna Holden – Volunteer Coordinator
John Bruins - President
Brad Graham - Vice President
Steven Peterson - Treasurer
Christine Coggins - Secretary
Bill Girard - Member
Lonna Hogan - Member
Dennis Harder - Member
Scott Gamble - Member
Geraldine Lee - Member
Photos by Ron Nickel
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The Badlands Amphitheatre and Passion Play site is available for film shoots, concerts and weddings. Contact us for more information about booking this spectacular venue at firstname.lastname@example.org or please give us a call at 403-823-2001.