Centre 64 theatre lift project receives $75,000 from Department of Canadian Heritage

The Arts Council is one step closer to their goal of making the theatre more accessible.

One of the many staircases patrons must climb while currently accessing the theatre (Corey Bullock file).

One of the many staircases patrons must climb while currently accessing the theatre (Corey Bullock file).

Centre 64 has announced the receipt of a Canada Cultural Spaces Fund grant of $75,000 from the federal government’s Department of Canadian Heritage to help fund the installation of an accessibility lift to the theatre at centre 64.

Currently, the theatre can only be reached by several flights of stairs, which poses a challenge for those in wheelchairs, the elderly and infirm.

For months, the Arts Council has been working on different fundraising initiatives including several government grant applications.

“Combined with available in-house funds for the expansion and renovation of Centre 64 and funds raised through the ‘Give Us A Lift’ campaign, together with an in-kind grant from the City of Kimberley, this federal government grant will allow us to start work on the project immediately,” said Arts Council President, Mike Redfern.

“We are very pleased and grateful to have been approved for this grant,” said Give Us A Lift campaign chair, Carol Fergus, who has spear-headed this project for Kimberley Arts Council. “It makes all the hard work put in by Dennis Bathory, Mike and I in getting to this point worthwhile. We are particularly grateful for Dennis’ professional architectural guidance, without which we could not have secured this grant.”

“I am thrilled that this investment in ‘Give Us A Lift’ will allow the Kimberley Arts Council – Centre 64 to improve accessibility to its facility, and create more opportunities for engagement and access to its wonderful programming. Today’s investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to developing and improving access to cultural institutions for all Canadians,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

To date, The ‘Give Us A Lift’ campaign has raised $23,000, thanks to the efforts of hard-working volunteers running events and the generous donations of community organizations and individuals. A final push is now planned to raise the remainder of the campaign’s $25,000 target.

“The support and generosity of people in the community has been most heartening,” said Fergus. “With a little more effort we hope to reach or surpass that target early in the new year.”

Fergus says that they still need to raise $2500 to reach the remainder of the local campaign.

“This is a challenge especially at this time of the year,” said Fergus. “We are looking for 10 donations of $250, at this time we have received three donations ($750) so we are looking for another $1750. All donations to the project would be gratefully received and as the Kimberley Arts Council Centre 64 is a charitable society, all donations would receive a receipt for income tax purposes. Many in the community will appreciate the value of the project in the efforts to provide inclusivity for all that KAC-C64 has taken on.”

Meanwhile the arts council waits to hear the results of its other grant applications with which it expects to reach the $175,000 required to complete the project.