An all-star cast: L-R Graeme Leadbeater

COLUMN: A varied, talented board

Ann DeGrace introduces the Nelson Civic Theatre Society board with their experience and their favourite movies.

What’s your favourite film of all time?

To write a “meet the board” column, I asked the question. I was looking for some telling answers — and maybe a new must-see movie list.

Heather Kennedy comes to the board with a background in strategic planning, fundraising, and belief in the enterprising non-profit model. Practical experience? You bet. And yet when it comes to film faves, it’s all about fantasy.

The best part about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, she says, is that it’s true to the books. “Besides, Aragorn gets his princess at the end, so it meets my criteria that movies have some romance in them.”

New treasurer Linda Tynan brings a background in finance, working with local government — and enthusiasm! Her big screen pick? “It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s a movie I can watch over and over again,” she says.

Jan Wright brings 25 years of experience working with non-profits and social enterprise. Her top film of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird.

“It’s a story about honour and bravery, memory and regret,” she says. “And the courtroom drama is still the best I’ve ever seen!”

Judy O’Leary has worked on the fundraising and membership committees, where her policy background has been a big asset. Now, she’s working on expanding community programming. Her favourite movie is The English Patient, “which turned a beautiful novel into something equally wonderful on screen.”

Returning board member John Brand’s previous board experience and background in finance has stood the Civic well. He concurs with Linda about It’s a Wonderful Life. Could finance people know something we don’t?

Continuing president Marilyn Mint is one of the smartest people I know, but her email was patently unhelpful.

She did describe a “rally the troops, all eyes on the goal” approach — the value of which can’t be underestimated — but refused to choose one favourite movie. I’ll forgive her, but only because she’s Marilyn.

Don Johnston and Graeme Leadbeater are both on the road and so missed press time altogether.

Don (continuing as vice president) comes with 40 years’ experience in community development. Past positions include CEO of Canada World Executive Youth and Columbia Basin Trust. His “retirement” is our gain.

In a redevelopment project like ours, having an architect on board is invaluable. Graeme Leadbeater’s expertise allows NCTS to pre-plan and work with the architects of record with insight and understanding.

Since neither was available to offer up their movie faves, I will assign them. To Don I will give The Horse Whisperer for his quiet ability to rein in the unwieldy.

To Graeme, I suggest King Kong, for his ability to scale Empire State Building-sized projects with ease. (I’d rewrite the ending, of course.)

Returning board member Darryl Santano — former Civic Theatre projectionist from the old days and huge film enthusiast — gets the last word. He wouldn’t choose a favourite movie, but he didn’t have any trouble putting himself in one:

“I’d like to ride with James Bond in the opening scene of Quantum of Solace as two cars pursued his Aston Martin, weapons blazing — but I would have probably gotten motion sickness,” he says.

“Or fly the crop dusting plane that terrorized Cary Grant in North by Northwest — but I can’t fly. Or I’d have like to be a cloaked “Jawa” in Star Wars, with those mini orange lights for eyes, but I’m too tall. But that’s the magic of movies. They transport us into the story.”

So there you have it: a fantastic, romantic, heartwarming, tear-jerking, action-packed, exotic, dramatic, socially-conscious theatre, where anything can happen. We’re all stars in this story of inspiration, perspiration and community. And bonus—there’s popcorn.

Small-sized trick-or-treaters are invited to stop by the theatre on Hallowe’en night! For all things Civic go to

— Anne DeGrace is the past president of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society. To find out about the Great Performances series and other events go to

Just Posted

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

Nelson honours veterans on Remembrance Day

About 200 people gathered at Nelson’s cenotaph on Saturday to pay their respects to Canada’s veterans

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

Nelson business community gathers to confront poverty

Nelson at its Best hosts business owners at the Hume Hotel

Kootenay mother’s book recounts anguish of daughter’s kidnapping

Lorinda Stewart worked tirelessly for 460 days to free her daughter Amanda Lindhout

LETTER: Thanks from Nelson’s 2017 Cultural Ambassador

Eileen Delehanty Pearkes reports on her busy year

Bronze medal at field hockey provincials for L.V. Rogers

The Lady Bombers defeated Oliver to finish third in Surrey last week

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

Most Read