The Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill will be having some exciting new renovations done in July thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign.
The theatre, which is run by The Gate House Community Association, was able to purchase some high quality self-folding seats to replace the ones that are currently installed that fold manually.
When asked where she found out about the seats, spokesperson Terry Ruth Eissfeldt noted her brother works for Simon Fraser University, and he was the one who told her they had just ripped all the chairs out of their theatre, adding, “and maybe if you ask they’ll give them to you since you’re a charitable organization and a theatre.”
Eissfeldt happened to be in Vancouver for business, so she took a few minutes to look at the chairs, which she said were “perfect for the Gate House. We only wanted 192, so I sent emails and letters to the powers that be (at SFU),” but she didn’t hear back.
She then emailed her brother who told her the chairs would be going to public auction.
Eissfeldt decided to bid for eight lots of chairs, and ended up winning at around $18 a chair, which is roughly $4,000.
That was when she and Chadwick Green, promotion and media coordinator for the Gate House Theatre, decided to create a kickstarter to recoup the money that had been fronted.
The kickstarter ended up raising $5,000, thanks to a lot of neat incentives that were involved if you decided to help fund the project.
Eissfeldt noted the chairs weren’t actually “the first thing on our list to spend money on, but when you have the opportunity like that it’s kind of hard to say no to it.”
She added that the chairs will be installed by volunteers in July, because “we want to do it right the first time and not have to re-do it.”
All told, it cost $4,000 for the chairs, with the last $1,000 raised going to new rugs, paint, and costs involved regarding a building inspector and permits, specifically if they want to change the layout of the chairs.
“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics,” Eissfeldt added. “We would like to take all the old fabrics off the walls and replace it with modern day acoustics that would suit our facility.”
Eissfeldt isn’t sure if they will try another kickstarter or decide to use another avenue for fundraising, as she has decided to leave that all up to Green.
Green, who originally applied for the manager position back in September, has other cool ideas for the Gate House Theatre he is already planning to implement, most notably, more live music, adding, “I foresee it putting the North Island on the map for touring performing arts.”
The Gate House Community Association was formed in 2008, with its purposes being:
To educate and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of performing and visual arts by providing performances of an artistic nature and by providing seminars on topics related to such performances;
To provide instructional seminars on topics related to the performing and visual arts; and
To educate the public in music, drama, film, dance, visual and written arts performance and composition through workshops and recitals.