Centre 64 in Kimberley is an arts centre that the community can be proud of. It features a theatre, studio, meeting rooms and gallery.
The building remains in great shape because Arts Council volunteers are constantly finding innovative ways to raise funds to keep the building up to date. The latest accomplishment was being able to install a lift to make the second-floor theatre more accessible.
Long time Arts Council volunteer Carol Fergus says that since the addition was put on the arts centre in the early 90s, there has been roughly $1 million spent to make improvements. All that came with fundraising, grants and help from the City of Kimberley.
“It’s amazing how much has been raised to make the building what it is,” Fergus said.
The latest successful campaign involves replacing all the seats in the theatre.
The campaign is called Take A Seat. Seats are being sold at $250 each. With 126 new seats to go in, Fergus is very pleased to say that 96 have been sold.
“There’s only another 30 to sell,” she said. “It’s amazing. We only launched last spring.”
The new seats will not only be more comfortable, they will make another improvement to accessibility in the theatre.
The theatre will have two less seats than previously. That’s because the seats on either side of the aisle on the front row will be removed to make room for wheelchairs. The two seats on either side of the aisle all the way up will be a little larger, as will the front row seats. There will also be lighting on the stairs and a handrail.
“All the existing seats are coming out,” Fergus said. “We are going to make some available for sale because people have been asking.”
The timeline for the new seats going in is likely September or October of this year.
The Arts Council is waiting to hear on a grant application for roof replacement. Ideally, if that grant comes through the roof would go on first, because the seats have to be removed for that regardless.
The new seats could be installed now, but would then have to be taken out again to put the roof on, which will create a lot of extra work.
In any event, with a little bit more fund-raising to do, Arts Council volunteers can take pride in another successful campaign, and Centre 64 will be better than ever.