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Tidemark has new seats to put bums in

Saturday was an exciting night for the Tidemark Theatre Society
The Tidemark Theatre welcomed donors and theatre supporters Saturday night to an unveiling of the new theatre seats.

The Tidemark Theatre’s makeover was unveiled to special guests Saturday night – but there’s still more to come.

An emotional Denise Mitchell-Hills, a member of the T25 capital campaign committee, promised a crowd of Tidemark supporters and donors that this isn’t the end.

“I just want you to know it’s not done,” Mitchell-Hills said. “We have a lot more plans for in here.”

Still, Saturday was an exciting night for the Tidemark Theatre Society as it opened the doors to the theatre to reveal brand new, high-backed blue seats complete with drink holders.

The new chairs were made possible through community donations, but the Tidemark is still looking for seat sponsors.

Generous donors have sponsored 113 of the 467 seats and those sponsors were asked Saturday to choose which seat they would like to put their name on.

A choked up Mitchell-Hills said the theatre “looked great” and said she couldn’t have done it without her “girls” who helped with the design selection.

“I told them I wanted them to design something they’d be proud to come to and they did,” Mitchell-Hills said. “They really paid attention to the history and made it something that still feels like the Tidemark but a newer, improved version of it.”

And speaking of improvements, the seats are just a part of the overhaul the Tidemark has undergone since kicking off its T25 capital campaign nearly four years ago.

Since 2010, the Tidemark Theatre Society has upgraded the sound system, worth $50,000, has added a new projection system, installed an online ticketing system, and laid new carpet down in the lobby and has added new light fixtures.

The upgrades have been funded through grants from Coast Sustainability Trust ($153,000), Island Coastal Economic Trust ($153,000), and the city of Campbell River ($250,000), as well as through donations from the community totalling $125,000.

Kim Emsley-Leik, managing director of the Tidemark Society, said the amount raised in the community is proof of how valuable an asset the theatre is to the city.

“This is a true testament to the support we’ve received from the community,” Emsley-Leik said. “I hope you enjoy the newly renovated house. We’ve had some pretty big ambitions and we’ve managed to follow through, which is pretty cool.”

But the work isn’t done.

The Tidemark Society wants to raise another $50,000 to renovate the concession.

“We’ve designed the concession, we’re ready to go,” said Mitchell-Hills who added that the society would also like to add some furniture and a fireplace in the lobby, as well as new signage and new paint on the outside of the building.