We have had such a busy 2019 so far at The Civic Theatre. From hundreds of screenings, to our work to build the regional film economy, to continued upgrades to our venue and capacity building within our staff and volunteer teams, everything we have done has been to support our current survival as a single-screen theatre and our vision for an expanded cultural media arts centre in the future.
I am constantly aware of the necessity to both stretch and be strong at the same time in our organization. To simultaneously build and grow. Showing only blockbuster films has never been enough. Fitting new independent films, community rentals, dialogue events, and other creative projects into our schedule continues to be an essential objective but a constant struggle, as major studio distributors always seem to be adding longer minimum screening runs. Building our programming, events and services for the community over the last seven years has been necessary and instrumental to making our case to funders, who have the ability to support our vision for a three-space venue. The good news is that we are making progress.
This has been a year of grant writing and case-making: to our municipality, to our province, and to other prospective major funding prospects. 2019 began with approval for a $1 Million line of credit from the City of Nelson towards our project, and $245,000 from the Province of BC towards the development of our architectural plans. We continue to make requests and proposals, and I look forward to opportunities to share more good news with you as we receive it.
With each milestone in our capital campaign work, it is delightful to share the news of our success. I’ve been thinking about how wonderful it feels to share good news when we have it, and contemplating a quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton. She wrote, “There are two ways to spread the light: one is to be the candle, the other is to be the mirror.”
I suppose we could say The Civic Theatre is the candle, and our community of volunteers, patrons and supporters is the mirror. However, it is our audiences’ love for our venue, the collaboration with community artists and organizations, and the passion of our volunteers that drives our board and staff to push on and work towards our vision for the future.
You are also our candle, the source of our inspiration and the reason we do our work. We are the mirror, reflecting your interests and inspiration, and supporting the conversations and causes that are important in our community.
I think both are true, and that is the magic of a centre and organization like ours. Sometimes we are the candle, bringing content into our community. Sometimes we are the mirror, holding space for art, ideas, and events made by community members. Our strength is that we are both. It is the effect of the two together that spreads the light more broadly and brightly.
Last fall, we shared with donors, members and patrons that we need your help to get through this time before we add more theatres within our current footprint. Our box office income is volatile, and we experience slumps in content and attendance throughout the year, depending on the films that are available to us. Until we have more screens and can accommodate more film content at the same time, we need your help to ensure our operational solvency. With two more screens, we expect to be 100% self-funding.
Today, I hope you will help us spread the light. This fall, it is our goal to increase our membership by 500 to a total of 2,000 members, and raise $20,000 towards our operations. We need your help in the following ways:
- Please come to movies, and bring your friends and family (especially if they have never seen a film in our theatre!)
- Start or renew your Nelson Civic Theatre Society Membership. The size of our membership is seen to reflect our community’s support for our organization with many funders. Plus, members receive great benefits, such as a discount on every ticket, points redemption at the concession and box office, and perks from local business partners.
- Make a tax-deductible gift to Nelson Civic Theatre Society, helping to ensure our solvency this year, and continue to bring films and develop new programs and services reflecting community interests and needs.
- Start a monthly gift to Nelson Civic Theatre Society, and make a pledge for a one-year or two-year term.You can give quickly and easily online at civictheatre.ca, or use the enclosed form, which can be returned to us by mail or dropped off in person at The Civic Theatre. If you prefer to give by phone, please call our office at 250.352.5833 to make your gift. We can also always help you at our lobby membership table the next time you are at the theatre.Thank you for being the mirror, for being the candle, and for helping us spread the light. We are so grateful for your support, partnership and passion for The Civic Theatre
P.S. Monthly giving is easy to set up and makes a great impact on our bottom line. Donors of $84 per month (totalling $1,008 per year) or more will receive special invitations as a part of our inaugural Director’s Circle. Check our website at civictheatre.ca for more details!