ECHO OK with arts centre idea

If the Town of qualicum Beach opts to include a performance venue in their plans for the old school district bus garage site, it shouldn’t cause a conflict with ECHO Players.

That was the message from ECHO president Brenda Jemmeson when asked about the concern at Monday night’s council meeting.

Jemmeson appeared with director Alistair McVey to give council a rundown of ECHO’s past and present activities.

When asked by outgoing councillor Jack Wilson whether the performing arts centre would enhance or infringe upon ECHO Players’ activities, Jemmeson said it wouldn’t likely be an issue.

“It wouldn’t infringe on what we do. Whether it would enhance Qualicum Beach though, I’m not sure. Once you get a performing arts centre, it starts to become very expensive to maintain.”

She noted that ECHO Players spends approximately $10,000 per year on building repairs, quite apart from renovations, which eat up much of the company’s annual surplus.

However, the benefit to the community is substantial she added, noting that ECHO has an annual budget of just over $130,000, most of which is spent locally.

The theatre company is one of only two in the province that owns their own building, performing as many as four shows every year and renting the building out to other groups.


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