School board approves $15K for Stelly’s theatre

Grant helping fund a feasibility study to investigate options for a world-class theatre at the high school.

The vision of a world-class theatre at Stelly’s Secondary School in Central Saanich just got one step closer to being realized.

At their May 13 meeting, the School District 63 Board of Trustees approved a request from the Society for the Community Arts Theatre at Stelly’s for $15,000 to help fund a feasibility study to explore what exactly is possible at the site.

“It’s an important milestone for us,” said Ron Broda, president of the Society.

“It’s one of our first victories. We’re in the warm up track now, and now we can see the start line.”

Broda has been working with parents and community members who say Stelly’s needs a modern, dedicated theatre — and there’s no halfway measures about their plan.

The Society is pushing for a theatre with capacity for 500-plus people, a balcony, separate rehearsal space, a fly tower, orchestra pit, dressing rooms, large lobby and a sprung dance floor.

It’s a project that comes with a multi-million dollar price tag — last estimates from the Society were up around $20 million.

But Broda has been quick to point out that in the past there were several similar projects on the lower Mainland.

The Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey, in particular, is a good example.

Owned by School District 36 (Surrey), the Bell Centre offers state of the art facilities for international and Canadian acts, including the Vancouver Symphony.

Broda’s dream for Stelly’s follows that same standard and he stresses that any theatre built at Stelly’s would have to be a strong pillar of the community as well.

The grant from the School Board will double what the Society has already raised themselves, and is a “substantial endorsement,” says Broda.

SD63 had already pledged their support in principle, even going so far as to appoint Trustee Barb Menzies as the official liaison to the project, but the approval of cold, hard cash is  a welcome step forward.

“It’s a recognition that there really is a need for a new facility here.”

With nearly $30,000 in hand, the Society is ready to start the work on a feasibility study, and they’re looking to fundraise the rest — about $20,000 more — to be able to finish the study by the end of summer.

For more information or to donate to the project, visit theatreatstellys.com.

Just Posted

Early indications say allergy season could be milder this spring

The Aerobiology Lab collects pollen samples from across Canada to help make predictions

The sun streak continues with a high of 18 C today

Showers expected this weekend so enjoy it while it lasts

Victoria street repatriated with proper spelling after a century-long mistake

‘Penwill Street’ was named after a Victoria man, but mistakenly spelled ‘Penwell Street’

Short-term accommodations in Canada generated an estimated $2.8 billion in 2018

British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec generated almost 90 per cent of total revenue

Royal Theatre rate hikes on hold for now; user groups remain unhappy

Symphony, Pacific Opera, Dance Victoria call for public consultation on future use of Royal

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Dutch police question new suspect in deadly tram shooting

Police are looking for additional suspects in the shooting

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Vancouver Island cougar might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Most Read