Wearing his old fashioned theatre usher uniform

Adding colour to the effort to save Nelson’s Civic Theatre

For the last month, local artist Josh Wapp has been helping gather input from the public through the society’s survey.

As the Nelson Civic Theatre Society works towards putting its proposal together by the May 31 deadline, one of the more passionate local film advocates continues to bring a touch of flair to the effort.

For the last month, local artist Josh Wapp has been helping gather input from the public through the society’s survey. At 6’5″ and wearing a bright red theatre usher uniform, it’s hard to miss him

“I thought this might get some attention,” Wapp says with a smile. “The response [to the survey] has been overwhelming.”

Last week Wapp took his passion for the cause a step further when he designed a poster for the society in an effort to garner even more attention.

The colourful cartoon-like poster depicts a crowd of theatregoers in front of the Civic. He has three different versions, each carrying a different message on the marquee: “The Main Event Space for Youth in Nelson,” “Movie Lovers Meet Here,” and “A Classic Night Out for Everyone.”

“I’m really impressed with the group that has been forming. I just want to do my part,” Wapp says. “There is a lot of expertise and experience [on the society board], it has a lot of momentum and a lot of different talents. There are people who have business sense, not just an artist and dreamer like me.”

Wapp, 42, grew up in Nelson and graduated from L.V. Rogers. A community advocate and frequent letter to the editor contributor, Wapp helped spur action with a letter to the Star back in March when the proposal for a squash court/climbing wall for the Civic hit the front page.

“Growing up here I knew what it was like to be a teenager… This was really all we had. There wasn’t even a youth centre,” says Wapp. “I am a movie lover and used to go to the movies here [as an adult]. I was heartbroken when I heard maybe it wouldn’t be a theatre again.”

Wapp’s poster looks hand-drawn, but was actually created on a computer tablet.

Though he has held down a variety of jobs — from cab driver in Vancouver to room service waiter at Victoria’s Empress Hotel to construction in Nelson — art is his passion.

He has designed posters, created logos and his illustrations have been featured in several publications, most recently Canadian Biker magazine. His work can be seen at jwapp.com.

For now, Wapp is throwing much of his energy into pounding the streets for support in his standout costume from an classic cinema age.

“I wondered if it was just me that wanted the theatre… it turns out that’s not true,” he says. “There are a lot of people who are interested in this cause.”

For more information on the society and to fill out an online survey, head to civictheatre.ca.



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