SID WILLIAMS THEATRE Society technical director Patrick Emery (left) and head of audio Mike Sutcliffe admire some of the new gear.

Downtown Courtenay theatre improvements funded

The Sid Williams Theatre Society has secured new funding for technical systems improvements at its theatre in downtown Courtenay

The Sid Williams Theatre Society has secured new funding for technical systems improvements at its theatre in downtown Courtenay.

“We were able to leverage existing City and Sid Williams Theatre Society capital replacement funds with available support from major government funders, allowing us to implement necessary upgrades as a one-time project rather than taking a phased-in approach,” the SWTS says in a news release.

Research and development for the project began over a year ago. New sound, lighting, and production technology being installed over the next few months will improve production quality, performer and crew safety, reduce power usage, and provide an enhanced experience for theatre patrons.

Totalling $105,000, the project is jointly funded by:

• $17,000 from private donations to the SWTS equipment fund;

• $23,000 from the City of Courtenay’s theatre capital replacement fund;

• $45,000 from the federal government through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund;

• $20,000 from the Province through the Island Coastal Economic Trust.

The society says it is extremely appreciative of this opportunity to significantly improve the theatre and its operations and would like to thank donors and the contributing levels of government who have made this funding available.

“It is wonderful to see a necessary project that will benefit patrons, performers, and our theatre operations be made possible through the widespread support of so many in our community that make us eligible for these grants in the first place,” says president Catherine Miller.

“The Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) is pleased to provide the Sid Williams Theatre Society with funding that will support the attraction of new events, diversify programming, and help draw a wider regional audience,” stated ICET chair Phil Kent. “This project is a great example of how ICET can partner with the local non-profit sector to strengthen regional economic diversification.”

John Duncan, MP for Vancouver Island North, commented, “The Sid Williams Theatre is pivotal for the Comox Valley cultural community and is a very worthy recipient. The Society has chosen wisely to invest in technological improvements to the facility.”

The SWTS is a non-profit community organization that has operated the Sid Williams Theatre since 2000. A large part of its mandate is to balance the needs of theatre operations with obtaining equitable funding from all sources and avenues.

This includes everything from ticket-handling fees, private and corporate donations, client recoverables and local, provincial and federal government support.

The SWTS also accesses available grants and donations to support community outreach, educational opportunities, and artistic programming at the theatre.

— Sid Williams Theatre Society


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