By David F. Rooney
Revelstoke’s new Performing Arts Centre will be officially opened by Education Minister George Abbott on Wednesday, followed on Thursday by an open house for the public punctuated by performances offered by students and the Revelstoke Community Theatre Company.
The long-awaited opening comes as the School District 19 board and the Arts Council are reaching an agreement on how the centre will be operated.
“Basically the board owns the facility and we’ll offer the Arts Council a contract to handle the marketing, programming and bookings,” SD 19 Superintendent Anne Cooper said in an interview on Tuesday.
The board is budgeting $20,000 to help pay for a programmer to oversee the Arts Council’s end of the contract.
“The Arts Council is looking at that and will determine if that’s enough or if we need to find more money,” Cooper said, adding that the overall management plan for the Performing Arts Centre is expected to be finalized next week.
“We need their expertise. It’s our facility but it’s their (the Arts Council’s) world. They understand it better than we do.”
After more than two months of discussions between the Arts Council and the Advisory Committee established to oversee policy development regarding the centre it also appears there is agreement on the fees that users will have to pay. Cooper said non-profit groups will pay $200, conferences will cost $400 and performances sponsored by for-profit organizations will be $600.
Regarding the opening on Wednesday, that will happen at 6:15. For members of the general public, Thursday will be the big day with the open house running between 4 pm and 8 pm. Event-wise, here’s the schedule of events that parents and others won’t want to miss:
4 pm — RSS drama performance followed by a dance performance;
5 pm — RSS Choir performance;
6 pm — RSS Jazz Band performance; and
7 pm — Selected acts from the Revelstoke Theatre Company’s award winning play Mending Fences.
Just to whet your appetite to see new space here are a few photos taken by photographer Keri Knapp for The Current: