One step closer to curtain call: CBT funds performing arts curtain

Almost $20,000 given to go towards curtains for Invermere’s new multi-use centre

The arts community is expecting that a performing arts curtain in the Columbia Valley’s new Multi-use Centre will increase the quantity and quality of performances in the Valley. After receiving $19,800.16 from the Columbia Basin Trust, the centre is one step closer to the final stages of completion. The new curtain is estimated to cost just under $50,000 but was a priority for the new centre’s completion.

“The curtain is basically a key component in order to have performing arts take place. If you don’t have the curtain there then performing arts cannot take place within the facility,” said District of Invermere chief administrative officer Chris Prosser.

The set of six curtains are 27 feet in length and will allow for the multi-use room to have a flat stage created for different types of performances.

“It creates the stage environment and the curtain will create all the backstage, all the hidden areas so that people can move around and gain access to the stage. So without the curtain the stage could not function,” said Mr. Prosser.

The six sets of curtains will be mounted along a pipe grid with a number of valances to support the curtains among the lights and sound system.

“This will be the first time where there will be an opportunity for people to sit comfortably in theatre style seating once it’s installed and watch a performance of some kind,” said Alec Fleming of Columbia Valley Arts.

While the curtains aren’t being used they will fold into the edge of the building so they aren’t seen when the room is being used for non-performance related activities. With six sets of curtains, it will allow for different styles of performance to take place in the room.

“You can picture that they would want to use them in different formats for different performances. You might just have one big curtain if you’re having a band for example. But if there’s a stage production you might want to have different scenes where you might have something behind one curtain so that when those curtains are moved you have a different setting,” said Mr. Fleming.

While the District of Invermere will not be applying for any more grants to cover the approximately $30,000 remaining for the curtains, Mr. Prosser was hopeful that the fundraising committee has enough funds to cover the curtains. Fundraising committee chair Justin Atterbury stated the grant from the Columbia Basin Trust is a step in the right direction.

“I think it’s great we’re very close to reaching our goals. We’re within $200,000 of having enough money to purchase all the things we need so hopefully we get there by the end of the summer and then this building can be fully outfitted by the end of the year,” said Mr. Atterbury.