Revelstoke’s new theatre is finally set to open to the public next week, with an official opening on June 6 and an open house on June 7.
George Abbott, the B.C. Minister of Education, will be in Revelstoke on Wednesday, June 6, for the official opening of the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre. That event is by invite only.
However, the next day the centre will open to the public for an Open House featuring a variety of performances. At 4, 5 and 6 p.m. there will be performances by Revelstoke Secondary School students. At 7 p.m. the Revelstoke Arts Council will provide entertainment.
The opening of the theatre was delayed when a fire destroyed the factory in Mexico where the seat cushions were being made.
The 275-theatre features a large stage, full lighting system, large backstage area, box office, and more.
Now that the theatre has opened, school board chair Alan Chell expects bookings to come in. The hope is that the space will help attract bigger name acts to Revelstoke, as well as be a place to host popular community events like dance recitals, perfomances by the high school band and more.
The theatre is being managed by a 10-person committee consisting of four representatives from the school district, four from the arts council and two city employees. They have drafted a management plan for the centre and are looking at securing $20,000 in grant funding to hire a part-time manager for the theatre.
“That would be someone that markets the theatre, takes inquiries for bookings and maximizes the usage,” said Chell. “We would have the theatre advisory committee that sets the rate and the policy and we have a staff person that carries on the work.”
So far $8,000 has been received from the Schools Community Connections Program and the arts council is also seeking $12,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust.
The rates to use the theatre vary depending on the user. Independent for-proft groups will be charged $600, conferences $400 and non-profit groups $200 plus 10 per cent of ticket sales.
There are also fees for a performing arts centre host, cleaning and technical support, however local groups that are expected to use the theatre can train people in those areas to act as volunteers.
“Our concern all along is we’re not in a situation to use K-12 dollars to subsidize the theatre,” said Chell. “We don’t have the money to hire a programmer but if there is money available through grants, that’s great.”
There are still a few outstanding issues that need to be resolved, such as how to handle food & beverage and concessions.
No one from the Arts Council was available to comment for this article.