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Money rolling into theatre

Coast Sustainability trust matches earlier grant to the Tidemark Theatre

A second grant has rolled in for improvements to the Tidemark Theatre without the public having to pay a cent.

The Coast Sustainability Trust announced Monday it would match the Island Coast Economic Trust’s $153,000 grant which was approved earlier last week.

With the two grants, the total capital raised for the Tidemark Theatre improvements is $306,000.

Kin Fowler, the president of the Tidemark Theatre Society board, said the society applied for several provincial and federal grants, totalling more than $500,000, but some had conditions attached.

Fowler said some of the grant agencies wanted proof that the community supports the improvement project.

“We have to show that the community is going to invest in the theatre,” Fowler said. “So we have to raise a minimum of $50,000 from the community by March 31 or lose grant funding.”

The society will launch a community donation drive Feb. 16, the Tidemark 25 Capital Campaign, in recognition of the Tidemark’s 25th anniversary this fall.

The improvement project is a way to mark the milestone.

Fowler said the society has a number of items on what she calls the “wish list” for the Tidemark.

Number one is tearing out the old seats and putting in new ones.

“The seats there are from 1947 (when the Tidemark was a Van Isle Movie Theatre). They’re still the original seats,” Fowler said. “They were re-upholstered and updated in 1987 but they’re still original seats and we can’t get replacement parts because they don’t make them anymore; the upkeep of seats is becoming an issue.”

The society would also like to update the lighting, install an in-house computerized ticketing system to enable target marketing; secure a new projector and screen; install monitors in the lobby and outside the building to promote upcoming shows; and re-do the concession.

Monday’s funding announcement was encouraging news for Fowler.

“The contribution made by the Coast Sustainability Trust is going to help us modernize and rejuvenate this historic building, as well as help us streamline and enhance the efficiency of our operations,” Fowler said. “But we’re just getting started. Additional funding is required for the society to adequately fund a project of this magnitude. The society recognizes that this is a community project and as such we will be doing our part by launching the Tidemark 25 Capital Campaign.”

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