Tidemark Theatre Society Board members are gearing up to launch a community donation drive in order to secure grant funding to improve the Tidemark. In the front are Denise Mitchell-Hills (left) and Christina Vokey. In the back are Kim Emsley-Leik (left) and Kin Fowler.

Tidemark fundraiser will help bring in more $$

The Tidemark Theatre Society risks losing grant money to improve the theatre.

The Tidemark Theatre needs your help.

If the community cannot raise several thousand dollars by the end of March the Tidemark Theatre Society risks losing grant money to improve the theatre.

The society has applied for several provincial and federal grants, totalling over $500,000, but some have conditions.

“Basically we’ve applied for some grant funding but in order for us to receive any grant money, we have to show the agencies that we have community support,” said Kin Fowler, president of the society’s board of directors.

A donation drive, dubbed the Tidemark 25 Capital Campaign, launches Feb. 16. The campaign must raise $50,000 by March 31.

On Monday, the Tidemark got a boost in the form of a $153,000 grant from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.

The Tidemark celebrates its 25th anniversary this fall and, with grant funding, the society will mark the milestone with a makeover.

Fowler credits past board president Chris Kozakowski for getting the ball rolling and former mayor Charlie Cornfield for encouraging and supporting the society throughout the grant application process.

Fowler isn’t sure how much the society will receive but she has a lengthy list of improvements.

Topping the wish list is new seating.

“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 the original seats and we can’t get replacement parts because they don’t make them anymore. The upkeep of seats is becoming an issue.”

Fowler said the society would also like to update the lighting, as some of the light fixtures are so old that they came from Expo ’86.

Also on the wish list is an in-house computerized ticketing system.

“Right now the tickets are printed in Vancouver. We’d like to have an in-house system so we can capture the data to find out where our audiences are coming from, who likes what shows, more target marketing,” Kin said. “It would be overall more efficient because a ticket would only be printed when purchased. Right now we have to print every single ticket for a show, even if it’s not sold.”

Fowler said the society would also like to look at installing a new projector and screen; monitors in the lobby and outside the door to promote future shows and events; and re-doing the concession.

Fowler said now it’s a waiting game to see which grant applications will be successful.

For more information call 250-287-7465 Ext. 1