When Nelson’s Capitol Theatre went looking for a partner in its facility improvement project, they found plenty of helping hands at Selkirk College’s fine woodworking program.
The Capitol’s $200,000 facelift includes a number of external, internal, technical and theatre system upgrades that is breathing new life into the important historic building that’s a cornerstone of the region’s cultural scene.
A new HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), a bold new external paint job, handcrafted new wheelchair accessible entryway doors, and an overhaul of the lobby, greenroom, workshop, orchestra pit, loading area and exit doors are major components of the project that has been going on for more than a year.
“In my second year as executive director of the Capitol Theatre, I saw a need to start fundraising for this project,” says Stephanie Fischer, who took over operations at the theatre in 2011. “In its current incarnation, this facility has served the community very well for 26 years. But as is always the case, time catches up to facilities like ours.”
When the portion of the project that included new cabinets in the theatre’s greenroom began earlier this year, Fischer reached out to the college.
“When I was reviewing the amount of work that still needed to be done, I remembered the generosity of the Fine Woodworking Program students that took part in the Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art & History construction that I was the project manager on a few years back,” says Fischer. “They built the cabinets for the staff room and kitchen for Touchstones, doing such a fabulous job.”
Fischer approached program instructor Michael Grace who happened to be looking for a student project for the cabinet portion of the popular nine-month program that is based out of Nelson’s Silver King Campus.
“Michael thought it was a good fit and a good community contribution,” says Fischer.
Over the course of a few months, the 20 students in the program took part in the construction and installation of the cabinets. With the assistance of Selkirk instructors Dave Stryck and Dave Buller, the Capitol Theatre now has cabinets crafted by a class of students who have now graduated and embarked on new challenges with their Selkirk education.