A $100,000 donation is the start of a $2.5 million fundraising campaign for the Mary Winspear. From left: Richard Paquette (President, Memorial Park Society), Gwyn Morgan, Patricia Trottier, Sheilah Fey (President, Mary Winspear Foundation), and Brad Edgett (Executive Director, Mary Winspear Centre).

$100k donation kicks off Mary Winspear fundraiser

The Mary Winspear Centre is beginning a $2.5 million fundraising campaign for eventual renovations, and it began on July 9 with a $100,000 donation from Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier.

In an interview, Trottier said she and Morgan have been residents of North Saanich for 12 years, and Sidney is their home base and their community.

“The Mary Winspear Centre is really the heart and soul of Sidney,” said Trottier in an interview. “It’s used for everything, activities like yoga, arts, sculpture, antique shows. So without the Mary Winspear Centre, there’d be a real hole in this community.”

Trottier said the expansion and upgrade was important, and the community was important to them.

Their foundation typically focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers (STEM) for youth, but Trottier said they made an exception because of the facility’s importance to their community. In the past, they have also donated $1 million to Camosun to support women in trades and to the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, among other recipients.

Brad Edgett, executive director of the Mary Winspear Centre, said the facility is 17 years old and requires continual maintenance and improvement.

“Gifts like this will go to new lighting, new sound, new technology in the theatre. Constantly upgrading the centre to give the patrons what they deserve,” said Edgett.

Edgett said it is the first major fundraising initiative the Centre has undertaken in the last decade. The community raised $7.3 million to build the theatre at the turn of the millennium, but he said it is time to bulk up the reserve fund for continual improvements.

The Centre is funded in part by the District of North Saanich and the Town of Sidney, said Edgett, but that only covers about a third of their operating costs. It is not wholly owned by a government entity like the Royal and McPherson Theatres, which are owned by the Capital Regional District. The remainder of their operations are funded from the proceeds of their events.

The Centre recently upgraded the flooring in the Bodine Family Hall, and the donation from Morgan and Trottier would go to similar infrastructure improvements via a reserve fund.

Just Posted

Central Saanich pot farm now on hold

A smokescreen for opposition to legal pot, say some critics

Victoria Lavender owner set to retire

Sidney storefront to remain open, future of goat yoga undecided

Crash snarles traffic on Highway 17

Traffic southbound is seriously delayed and northbound down to one lane on… Continue reading

LETTERS: Lost purse takes B.C.-wide journey back to Victoria owner

How do we get the housing we need? The first completed home… Continue reading

Local and international artists paint murals across Victoria

Sixteen murals are spread out across downtown Victoria as part of the ‘concrete canvas’ project

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read