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COLUMN: Edge of your seat action

“Catch a Glimpse of the Future,” says the poster in the Civic Theatre lobby.

“Catch a Glimpse of the Future,” says the poster in the Civic Theatre lobby.

You’ll get it at our second annual general meeting on Thursday, October 16 at 7 p.m., where board member Graeme Leadbeater will present the architectural concept for three theatres, among other good things. And while the future is certainly exciting, I have to confess that right now, I’m thinking of the past.

Was it only a year ago I was on the edge of my metaphorical seat? It was the day of the first Annual General Meeting of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society, and it felt as if everything had been leading to this point — and much was at stake.

We had come so far. We’d gathered 4,000 signatures and written a proposal good enough to get a cautious nod from the city.

Then we submitted the feasibility study and business plan that scored us the keys. With a legion of volunteers we’d taken the big dusty box we inherited and turned it into a working theatre and then with goodwill, hard work, and community generosity we went digital.

Every one of these milestones was cause for celebration, and not a little nail-biting. But the AGM was a new test because of the quorum needed for the AGM to go ahead — 10 percent of our membership.

Ten per cent of 2,100 people. To an AGM.

AGMs aren’t exactly sell-out blockbusters by their nature, and as for our membership numbers, we were victims of our own success. Clearly, this flaw in our otherwise flawless constitution needed to be addressed. Thing was, we needed the quorum to change the quorum. Hence, the edge-of-my seat-ness.

The publicity team went into high gear and the word went out: come to the AGM. Please.

I remember being on that stage as the people trickled in, eyes on the seats as they filled, with me very much on the edge of mine. At last the count came in: a whopping 290 people had turned out. When I announced the number from the stage, someone in the audience shouted back “well, you told us to come!”

The meeting was efficient, the constitution was changed, and everyone enjoyed the free movie that followed. The attendee number for a quorum at the AGM is now much more reasonable. And these days, if I’m on the edge of my seat it’s just because of the action on the screen when I enjoy a movie at our theatre.

While we no longer need hundreds of people at the AGM, you do want to be there, and not just because there’s a free movie afterwards (seat-edgy or otherwise). You want to come because it’s your theatre, and you care what happens. You want to hear where the society has been, and where it’s going. You want to find out how you can be involved. And of course, you want to catch a glimpse of the future.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m.  but you want to be there early so volunteers can verify that you are a member in good standing (you can’t join at the AGM). Members can ask questions, vote on notices of motion, and elect the board of directors. Information about the AGM and application for nomination to the board (deadline October 3) is online at

Current NCTS president Marilyn Mint is a cooler cucumber than yours truly, and I know that this year’s AGM will be full of the very best kind of future glimpses and other important things.

As for me, I’ll be in the audience, squarely in my seat with my eyes on the stage, thinking about the extraordinary years we’ve had and anticipating the ones to come.


— Anne DeGrace is the past president of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society. To find out about the Annual General Meeting and all things Civic go to