Lindy Deas, a scooter user, wants more accessible seating at the Charlie White Theatre. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

A good ending for Charlie White theatregoer

After contacting the PNR last week about disability seating at the Charlie White Theatre, Lindy Deas says she’s happy with the response she got from the theatre.

Deas, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a scooter to get around, contacted the Mary Winspear Centre asking if more accessible spaces could be created.

RELATED: Theatregoer wants more accessible seating at Charlie White

In their reply, theatre manager Philip Sutton said staff could actually increase wheelchair seating from 4 to 6 if required by removing some chairs. In addition, they are considering engineering additional wheelchair seating in the front row, but it would take some time. They offered her two tickets to an upcoming performance for sharing her concerns. Deas was pleased her concerns were heard.

“When I moved here a dozen years ago, I was one of the very few in a scooter,” but now “they are everywhere,” she wrote.

In an follow-up interview, Sutton said there are many ways in which the Charlie White can accommodate patrons, including those with portable oxygen systems, and that staff would work to ensure anyone could see the shows they want to, regardless of any physical concerns. While the accessible spaces can also become conventional seats, he said they are not sold until every person with mobility concerns is accommodated first.

“Every inch of the Mary Winspear Centre is accessible by wheelchair,” said Sutton, including the Charlie White, all the rooms, both stages and backstage, and he has heard praise from wheelchair users. However, Sutton said management welcomes feedback from their patrons and are always looking at ways to improve the Mary Winspear, saying “we have always been very good at adapting on the fly.”

Currently, the accessible seats are on metal plates to make them easy to move, and staff are consulting with engineers to see if it is cost-effective and practical to convert other seats to make them movable in this way.

“We do whatever it takes to make things right,” said Sutton.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Oak Bay Grade 8 students end time at Monterey with drive-through goodbye

School holds socially-distanced completion ceremony

CRD warns of toxic algae bloom at Thetis Lake Regional Park

Visitors advised to avoid swimming in lake, keep pets out of water

Saanich police, pound respond to possible cougar sighting

Cougar possibly seen in area of 4500-block of Chatterton Way

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read