Long awaited improvements to Pavilion Theatre are expected to begin this year, helped along with in-kind donations and a repayable grant from the City.
For the second year in a row, Western Canada Theatre competed unsuccessfully last fall for a $100,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund to undertake the improvements.
When the company didn’t make the final cut in December, it opted to proceed with the upgrades.
“It’s really a shame we didn’t finish 10th,” said general manager Lori Marchand. That would have at least earned them the $5,000 grant that goes to each semifinalist.
Instead, the company is prioritizing the upgrades and plans to proceed on a gradual basis.
“The roof and boiler we cannot ignore,” she said. “We’re going after funding from other sources.”
City council recently approved a $100,000 grant to Western Canada Theatre to be amortized over seven years, expressly for maintenance and upgrades to the building.
Built in 1963 as a bull sale barn, the City-owned building was converted into a theatre facility in the 1980s. It houses the company’s offices, a black-box theatre and Kamloops Live! Box Office.
“We don’t own the building so we do not have the ability to get a mortgage. Most companies, that’s how they fund repairs.”
The company has been collecting a $1 ticket surcharge in support of the upgrades.
While the Aviva campaign to muster community support fell short of a winning finish, the online votes served as an indicator of community support for the Pavilion.
“It’s a really critical part of the arts scene and we’re just so grateful that is being acknowledged so much in the Aviva campaign,” Marchand said.