The theatre is currently only accessible via several flights of stairs. (Arts Council file.)

The theatre is currently only accessible via several flights of stairs. (Arts Council file.)

Inclusivity for all

Give Us A Lift campaign reaches $175,000 goal

Centre 64 and the Arts Council have achieved their goal of raising $175,000 for the installation of a platform wheelchair lift.

BC Gaming announced the recipients of their Capital Project Grant and Kimberley Arts Council (KAC) – Centre 64 will receive $60,000 for the lift.

“This is a wonderful Christmas present” said Give Us A Lift campaign chair Carol Fergus. “In combination with the federal heritage department grant of $75,000 already received and approximately $30,000 raised through generous donations and event revenues for the Give Us A Lift campaign, as well as the in-kind grant from the City of Kimberley, we are now in a position to complete the project.

“The Give Us a Lift committee would like to say thank you to all the organizations and supporters who believed in the Kimberley Arts Council-Centre 64 project to provide accessibility to all at Centre 64,” said Fergus. “The knowledge that the community was in support of what the KAC hoped to achieve is monumental!”

With the awarding of $75K from Heritage Canada, the $60K from BC gaming, plus the funds raised locally, it makes the project a reality; going out to tender in January of the new year.

“Thank you Kimberley, for all of the support in the Give Us A Lift project,” Fergus said.

The KAC launched their fundraising campaign in April of this year, meaning they raised $175,000 in just eight months.

“The installation of an elevator to the upper floor theatre will make it accessible to all,” explained Arts Council President, Mike Redfern. “Mobility impaired patrons and those with other health problems that prevent them climbing the several staircases to the theatre will now be able to attend productions and activities in the theatre. These include the ever popular HomeGrown coffeehouses, play productions by Off Centre Players and Turner & Adler Productions, and touring performances, concerts, slide-show travelogues, film shows and more.”

Redfern says that KAC is not only grateful to the Department of Canadian Heritage and the BC Gaming Branch for their support of this project, but also to the residents of Kimberley.

“We are indebted to the members of the Kimberley public who have been so enthusiastic and generous in their support,” said Redfern. “Local building contractors are being contacted for an expression of interest in taking on this project and Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. of Nelson will be tendering the project for bids early in January. We now hope to see this project completed by the summer.”