A pillar of the arts in Swift Current will be stepping away from his longstanding role after some devastating news in the family. 

Gord McCall, the artistic and executive director at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, got the news a short while ago that his wife had been diagnosed with stage four cancer. Afterwards, he immediately gave notice that he would be stepping down from his position with the theatre.

"Because my attention is obviously going to be fully with her, and we have a battle ahead, we need to focus entirely on that," said McCall. "I have a three-month notice period in my contract, and I will be able to fulfill that time period with the good graces of the board, who have very graciously said to take the time I need when I need it." 

While this news is heartbreaking, it hasn't stolen McCall's hope. They plan to still be active in the community and remain in Swift Current. 

"If we get into a good place with this, you never know how long that might take; I will certainly make myself available to act, direct, or produce on a freelance basis within the community," McCall said.  

McCall has been a figurehead for the Lyric Theatre as both the artistic and executive director for the past five years. He hopes to pass on what skills he can to whoever fills his shoes.

"It's not always easy to step in and simply take on something that came from a different inspiration," said McCall. "It will all depend on the person and the board and how they feel about that. I would hope that the Sparks in the Dark series and the Christmas show are maintained in some fashion because that's a really good balancing of the theatre programming and then the Shakespeare festival; I hope it remains as well."

The McCalls have a son who lives up in Saskatoon and plans to make use of his open door as they pursue treatment in the Bridge City. While they will be spending much of their time there, they will still be seen around Swift Current, which they consider their home.

"When I got here and walked into the [Lyric Theatre], I went, "This is a very special place," said McCall. "They decided that they'd like me to come as the artistic director, and they'd hire someone else to be the general manager, which is exactly what happened. It was a perfect arrangement." 

For anyone wishing to show support for the McCalls, Gord will be active for the next three months at the Lyric Theatre as his notice plays out. Folks are encouraged to attend their open stages, as well as their theatrical productions of which he has poured so much of his life over the last half-decade. 

"You'll see me around at times, but most of the time will be spent dealing with this situation with my wife," said McCall. "I want to thank the people who supported us all these years."