Performers sing their support for performing arts centre

An evening filled with music and treats. That’s the agenda this coming Saturday, November 4. The entertainment lineup is impressive: Chicken Like Birds, Green Room, Holly McCallum, Richard Good and Melissa Wood, Jake & Friends, David Izik-Dzurko, and the Shuswap Barbershop Project.

The whole evening is a fundraiser for a project that is very near and dear to Cilla Budda. She is a member of the Shuswap Society for the Arts and Culture (SSAC), a committee formed by the Shuswap Theatre Society for the purpose to build and manage a Performing Arts and Culture Centre.

“We’re raising money for a feasibility study for a performing arts centre. We need $30,000 to $40,000. We have to prove to the powers that be that this is important.”

The feasibility study will provide information such as does the community really want this? And if so, how big should it be, and where should it be? There will always be nay-sayers, says Cilla, but as the rental manager for Shuswap Theatre, she believes otherwise.

Cilla says she gets a lot of phone calls from entertainment promoters who would like to book events in Salmon Arm.

“When they say, ‘How big is your place?’ and they hear, ‘150 seats,’ they say, ‘I need a minimum of 400 or 500 seats.’ I’ve turned away major groups in the past because we don’t have room.”

She says with suitable facilities Salmon Arm could become a cultural hub, hosting events ranging from provincial choral festivals to big conventions for groups like Rotary.

“It could be used for everything, not just music and dancing.”

Shuswap Theatre simply needs replacing, she says.

“We need a prop room, a dressing room, storage, and the front – for the performance, we need to seat 400 plus on the main floor and maybe 200 in the balcony.”

Budda envisions the building being a centre being multi-use for many arts groups complete with meeting rooms.

The ticket price of $25 includes a nice selection of hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and refreshments, and wine will be available for sale. Coupled with an evening full of home-grown entertainment it’s sure to be a good time.

And of course, it’s for a good cause. Budda says because the city is growing, the performing arts centre will be an important part of the city’s identity.

“We could be way richer culturally. If we build it they will come.”

Tickets for Musical Sweets 2 are available at Salmon Arm Stationary. Cost is $25. The venue is 5th Avenue Seniors Centre and it starts at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4.

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