The Chemainus Theatre's live stage performances were idled by COVID back in mid-March. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Theatre receives Island Coastal Economic Trust funding

Project will involve recording and live-streaming Playbill Presents series content

The Chemainus Theatre Society is one of three recipients of grants to help with business and industry restart activities under the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Small Capital Restart Funding Program.

The City of Port Alberni and Mount Cain Alpine Park Society were also awarded ICET grants. The quick response funding program was launched in early June to provide immediate support, of up to $15,000, for urgent and innovative solutions to the operational restrictions and business closures imposed by COVID-19 health and safety restrictions.

Related story: Chemainus Theatre Festival cancels remainder of 2020 season

The Chemainus Theatre is embarking on a project to capture, record, edit and live-stream broadcast digital video content of its new ‘Playbill Presents’ series. Project funding will be used to purchase the equipment required for broadcasting, as high demand for this product has exceeded the theatre’s physical COVID restricted capacity.

By presenting events through digital media, the theatre hopes to reach existing audiences that require greater protections from COVID, maintain its connection to traditional markets and create new events and opportunities to improve sustainability.

“Creating new opportunities for small businesses to bridge operational restrictions and increase their revenues is essential now, particularly entering the winter months,” noted ICET CEO Line Robert.

The City of Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay Business Enhancement Project will support a cluster of 18 small businesses at the Harbour Quay, one of the city’s most important tourism venues.

The Mount Cain ski area project will support the reconfiguration of lodge space into safe staff accommodations and work areas to ensure proper physical distancing for both the public and workers.

The Port Alberni project is currently underway while the Chemainus Theatre and Mount Cain projects are set to commence soon.

The Island Coastal Economic Trust was launched by the Province of B.C. in 2006 to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy.

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Empty theatre seats for so long have been a hard pill for the Chemainus Theatre to swallow. (Photo by Don Bodger)