The Government of Canada and the Province of B.C. has announced a significant investment in the Nelson Civic Theatre Society’s future plans through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Our community has been hoping for this dream to come true for many years since The Civic Theatre reopened its doors and this funding announcement is a significant step in the process.
The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program - British Columbia is investing $3.917 Billion in BC infrastructure programs over ten years in Community, Culture and Recreation; Rural and Northern Communities, Green initiatives and Public Transit, using a cost-sharing plan between the governments of Canada and British Columbia, local governments and other partners.
Our charitable organization is just one of four recipients of this funding in the Nelson-Creston area. Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, and MLA for Nelson-Creston, highlighted the importance of these investments within her region:“These four projects contribute to our communities’ wellbeing and opportunities for prosperity at a time when we need them more than ever.”In the Infrastructure Announcement for the B.C Interior delivered on Youtube on Friday July 3rd 2020, Minister Mungall shared her thoughts on this milestone moment for The Civic Theatre:“Being an MLA for Nelson, I know exactly how long this project for The Civic Theatre has been a dream of the community. I’ve seen the posters, the architect renderings for years.”Alongside her congratulations, she noted that she’s a moviegoer herself, has been waiting for this project for a long time, and is excited to see that it is moving forward.
This new joint provincial-federal investment of $2,717,000 will allow us to undertake important renovation work within our leasehold, housed within Nelson’s Civic Centre, a heritage building erected in 1935. Two more screens will be added within the Civic Theatre, transforming our current single-screen theatre into a venue that houses three theatre spaces in total. This means that we will be able to diversify our content offerings and increase our economic stability. The Civic Theatre’s Executive Director Eleanor Stacey said:“We are delighted to receive this substantial support from the provincial and federal governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Our facility has long been a centre for community and when it was closed in 2010 for a few years, the loss was felt deeply in our community.“Our vision is for the creation of a cultural media arts centre – a space that offers world-class film and other cultural programming, that builds significant opportunities for local employment, and which grows and diversifies our community’s capacity for cultural creation, with regional impact through our programs and services, including for our regional film economy. We have been working towards the realization of this project for the last eight years, and it is so exciting to now have the means to carry it forward and bring it to fruition.”
Nelson is already a cultural, service, and economic hub for the Regional District of Central Kootenay, and this funding will help to provide our rural region with greater access to the arts and digital media. Benefits to local residents will include more opportunities to enjoy diverse mainstream and independent film programming, experience a broad array of community events for a multitude of audiences, increased accessibility to rental and event space and new physical and programmatic support for Kootenay Screen-Based Industry workers (an existing Civic Theatre initiative for emerging and established film industry professionals in the Kootenays.)Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project. We're so thrilled to be able to share this news with our wonderful community!