A sample floor plan created by the Nelson Civic Theatre Society to show what the three-theatre design could look like.

Civic Theatre releases RFP for major redevelopment

The society is seeking a qualified architectural firm to take the project from master plan through construction

The Nelson Civic Theatre Society has released a Request for Proposals for redevelopment of the 1936 cinema, marking a milestone in the progress of the Civic Theatre. The society is seeking a qualified architectural firm to take the project from master plan through construction in the renovation of its single auditorium into a three-theatre venue, and ideally, the firm selected will have a working presence in Nelson.

“This a major point in our work so far,” says NCTS president Marilyn Mint. “The RFP has been carefully developed, building on our research and addressing the complexity of the project.”

The Nelson Civic Theatre Society was granted occupation of the theatre in October 2012 after a successful bid that included a comprehensive feasibility study and business plan. Since June 2013, after a successful fundraising campaign allowed for digital conversion, the theatre has been open for regular movies and community rentals, while behind the scenes long-term planning and fundraising has continued. Early in the process the society identified the necessity of moving to a multi-screen model to ensure viability as a social enterprise, and began to explore options.

With the approval of the Architectural Institute of BC, a volunteer planning team made up of local architect and Board member Graeme Leadbeater and interns Rob Stacey and Lukas Armstrong advanced a preliminary Master Plan, essential work that informs the RFP.

A hazardous materials assessment has already been undertaken. A programming analysis projecting the next 20 years is a further consideration in the RFP, which calls for the Civic to be “a dynamic cultural hub and a key component of Nelson’s vibrant downtown.”

“As a social enterprise, we use solid business principles to generate revenue with the goal to reinvest profits in the community,” says Mint. “Everything we do is with commitment to the community in mind. This request for Proposals is in full consideration of that, so we hope to find a proponent who can fully understand and embrace that tenet.”

The RFP is a detailed document outlining proposed stages of the project with a projected start date of January 2015. Interested parties should contact Sue Adam at sue@civictheatre.ca for full information and a copy of the RFP. Submission deadline is November 29.

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