Today’s Poll

Civic Theatre Society membership drive kicks into high gear

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 10th, 2012

Just think  . . .  Josh Wapp dressed up in full usher humming a few bars in a singing telegram.

That’s what the winner of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society membership drive receives as the local society revs up fundraising to help preserve the Civic Theatre in Nelson.

“If you’re at the Nelson & District Community Complex during the month of August, check out the wrist band draw prize,” said Wapp, a Membership Committee member.

This month’s prize is a singing telegram courtesy of NCTS, along with Wapp, includes a professional musician and actress Bessie Wapp in movie star costume.

The latter will sing a song and play her accordion — a prize ideal for birthday parties and anniversaries.

“It’s a fun way to promote our membership drive,” said Wapp.

With more than 250 memberships sold to date and a grant in place to support the undertaking of a comprehensive feasibility study, the big screen is within reach according to society president Anne DeGrace.

“Memberships continue to sell steadily,” she explains. “We’re halfway to our goal of 500. It’s a great vote of confidence.”

Memberships can be purchased any time at sponsors Baker Street Menswear and Otter Books, at the NCTS booth around town, and online at

Since Nelson City Council’s July 15 resolution to allow NCTS time to conduct the study and business plan, the board and dedicated volunteers have been working hard to line up consultants and source funding.

The society received a huge boost to the caise with a $10,000 grant from the group Enterprising Non Profits.

“(This) will allows us to bring in industry experts, and to engage an independent body to review the study and business case,” said DeGrace.

While the background work of researching business and structural models and identifying funding sources for leasehold improvements continues, frontline volunteers are selling memberships and letting people know what’s happening with the project.

One of the frequently asked question — how can I help? — can be difficult to answer as there is so much to be done.

Anna Purcell has recently come on board to oversee volunteers.

“We still need some good people for the membership drive,” she says, “as well as professionals: a web designer would be great, a graphic designer, and a publicity maven,” Purcell explained.

“We also still need experts in all aspects of architectural and interior design, and builders and contractors to help problem-solve and provide estimates on renovations.”

Anyone wishing to help should contact

The plan is to re-open the theatre to show Hollywood, Canadian, international, and art-house films in a newly renovated space featuring up-to-date sound and projection equipment.

Although the number of screens and other considerations will be decided subject to the study and business plan, NCTS proponents have found that the broad vision is shared by individuals and businesses alike.

Recently, new owner Murray Kimber of Speedpro Signs came on board as a corporate sponsor, as well as Astral Media’s EZ Rock, and The Bridge.

“Support from the business community is important, too, because we will be part of that community” says DeGrace. “We’re grateful to our corporate sponsors.”

In addition to the membership drive are plans for special events and a community open house.




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