The North Peace Cultural Society reported good news at its annual general meeting on Nov. 14.
The society has been approved for a $170,000 capital grant from B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program for new seats, carpets, and drapes in the theatre.
“Nothing has happened in refurbishing the theatre in 25 years, so it needs it,” said board director Sue Popesku, who helped write the grant.
Fort St. John city council has already approved adding $170,000 to the 2019 capital budget if the grant was approved, to fund half of the upgrades.
The society will be launching a seat sale in the new year to drum up sponsorships as well, with a goal of raising another $160,000 to complete a range of other upgrades that are planned, including lights and sound.
Seats will be sold for $400 with a charitable tax receipt, and marked in recognition of the donor. A similar seat sale was launched to help fund the theatre when it was first built in 1992.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Popesku said, crediting her board colleagues for the help securing the grant. "One never raises money alone. It takes a team."
The society reported a surplus of $3,559 for the 2017-18 year.
Revenues were down 2% overall to $815,538, due to a decrease in grants and room and theatre rentals. Expenses were up 9% for the year to $811,980, due to wage increases, utilities, and a full year of cafe operations.
Connie Surerus, Sue Popesku, Kevin Smith, Margaret May, and Heather Truscott were re-elected to the board. They are joined by new directors Paul Milne, Brenda Zohren, and Matt Preprost.
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