It was surprising to the newsroom staff when we saw the amount of funding the new community facility received for a ‘performing arts curtain system’– $19,800.16 to be exact, from the Columbia Basin Trust (see story, page 2). It was shocking when we learned that amount is not even half of the total cost of the curtains.
The almost $50,000 for the six panels seems like an extraordinary amount to put into a facility that has had to see cuts here, there and everywhere to try and create a truly multi-use centre. When other components have had to be tailored, it is questionable why this element with such a hefty price tag was chosen to be installed.
Alec Fleming of Columbia Valley Arts did explain what features the curtain has and how it will assist in performance space at the venue. It sounds like a great system. But for $50,000? That is a lot of fundraising dollars to cover the remaining $30,000 price tag.
Repeated attempts from multiple reporters yielded a merry-go-round of who to talk to, with several sources passing the buck on the decision. No doubt, there were endless meetings and countless discussions that went into deciding what to put in to the new centre, what could be kept based on the money available and what could be held off until a future date. The curtain obviously made the cut in those deliberations.
It might be called a multi-use centre, but money talks louder than words and the choice to spend $50,000 on a curtain shows this centre will be much more about arts, much less about sports.