Cranbrook Community Theatre’s Volunteer Technical Director, Marnee Bellavance stands inside the Stage Door tech booth. Photo courtesy CCT

Cranbrook Community Theatre’s Volunteer Technical Director, Marnee Bellavance stands inside the Stage Door tech booth. Photo courtesy CCT

CBT funding widens Cranbrook’s door to the world

Columbia Basin gives funding to local non-profits, including Cranbrook Community Theatre, to close technology gaps

If you are an educator, performing artist or arts organization, by now you have dabbled or full-on embraced streaming video to reach your students or audience. A global pandemic has prompted many of us to become more innovative and reliant on digital applications, and the internet in general, to stay connected and do business.

Although Cranbrook Community Theatre Society (CCT) has always been about presenting live in-house theatre, they recognized the advantage of digital equipment and the game changer it could be for their theatre productions as well as other local and non-local user groups of Cranbrook’s Studio Stage Door heritage.

The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) agreed and has awarded CCT with $10,000 in funding through the Non-Profit Tech Grant. Funding will enable the purchase of technical equipment and accessories needed to improve sound, lighting design, and to stream their plays to viewers locally and around the world.

CCT was among several local groups to benefit from CBT’s largesse. See more below.

Letters of support came from R.E.A.L.M. (Realize Empowerment Access Life to the Maximum), two local musical performing artists; Pretty for the People and Maddisun, and Locals, an organization that presents local performing artists in the Stage Door. The $3000 donation to CCT from Locals in 2020 will also go towards the technical equipment project.

The timing of the approved funds fits perfectly with the recent announcement that the Stage Door Restoration project, funded by the Province of B.C. through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, is going forward this year.

“What amazing synchronicity; to have received funds to purchase the necessary sound and streaming equipment upgrades to complete our soon to be restored theatre and tech booth,” said Marnée Bellavance, CCT’s volunteer Technical Director.

It was CBT’s first Covid Relief program that inspired CCT’s first attempt at live streaming a play six months ago when in-house audience numbers were reduced by Provincial Public Health Orders inside the 83-seat theatre. Almost, Maine by John Cariani, directed by Michelle and Bob McCue, was live streamed to more than 200 in October 2020 thanks to CBT funding and CCT member Jordan Nering of Artistic Media Productions.

Should the pandemic continue to restrict in-house seating, people will still be able to enjoy and support local arts, in the comfort of their own home regardless of where they live. Once the pandemic is behind us, the new technology will augment the venue’s audience capacity and potentially grow audiences for all venue users, improving access to Cranbrook arts & culture.

CBT gives funding to local non-profits to close technology gaps

The Columbia Basin Trust is providing over $1 million to support technology-related initiatives for non-profit, community and indigenous groups in the Basin.

Funding will allow organizations to access technology that better meets their needs, from supporting administrative functions to increasing web connectivity, and in some cases offering office technology for community members use.

A number of Cranbrook and Kimberley area groups will benefit from the funding.

Getting funding in Cranbrook are:

• Columbia Basin Institute of Regional history – $2,855

• Community Connections of Southeast BC – $19,689

• Cranbrook Boys and Girls Club – $13,000

• Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce – $2,150

• Cranbrook Community Theatre Society – $10,000

• Cranbrook Farmers’ Market – $2,750

• Cranbrook Food Bank Society – $2,493

• Key City Gymnastics – $4,570

• Key City Theatre Society – $15,000

• Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association – $4,650

• Symphony of the Kootenays Association – $5,000

• The Cranbrook and District Arts Council – $6,779

• The Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation – $42,201

• The Cranbrook Curling Club – $8,877

• Kootenay Employment Services Society – $15,000

• Friends of Fort Steele Society – $6,048.

And in Kimberley:

• Kimberley Seniors Project Society – $850

• Kimberley Wellness Foundation – $2,870

• Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook – $3,359