You are on page 1of 3

!

!
!
!

November 8, 2014!

To all members of Chatham-Kent council:!

On behalf of Theatre Kents board of directors, I would like to state that our group is opposed to
the proposed renaming of the Kiwanis Theatre, with the suggestion that the word theatre
should be removed.!

The theatre has a lengthy history in our community and has been the site of countless
performances since the curtain first rose in the space almost 90 years ago.!

For those who werent able to see our most recent production of the musical Oliver!, here is a
link to a four-minute video we used to help promote the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=nBX85iLsewM&feature=youtu.be to give you an idea of the type of shows we are presenting.
I am also attaching a photo that could be used in the report to show the theatre in use.!

While we are supportive of some of the other proposed changes to the space, which include
reducing the number of seats in the house, and installing newer, more comfortable seating, the
name change is something that we cannot support.!

It has been suggested that there is confusion over having two theatres in Chatham. We would
argue that the Capitol Theatre once co-existed with the Centre Theatre, and people did not have
difficulty locating the film they wished to watch.!

We also believe that a community that boasts two theatres suggests a vibrant arts community
that is supported by its residents and its municipality. We would also encourage the inclusion of
a photo or two of the theatre in use,!

You may not be aware, but in our 2013/14 season, Theatre Kent paid a total of $18,337.20 to
the Kiwanis Theatre for rental and ticket handling fees for three shows, an amount far greater
than the amount that went into the Theatre Kent coffers during the same period. !

Our volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to provide local audiences with the
opportunity to see some wonderful theatre, and to provide those who are interested an outlet to
explore their own creativity, whether its through acting, directing, marketing, costume or set
design and the many other areas that are involved in creating a show. Part of our mandate
includes audience development, and we are proud of the fact that we provide youngsters who
might not otherwise have an opportunity to experience this kind of enrichment, at little or no cost
to them. This is only possible because of the hard work and dedication of our volunteers.!

As long-time users and supporters of the Kiwanis Theatre, we would appreciate the retention of
the entire name. The Kiwanis Theatre is a theatre. As such, it can be used for a number of
purposes, as can an art gallery, and to a lesser extent, a museum.!

In addition to that, we would also like to voice our concern about what seems to be everdiminishing support for the theatre, which we believe is a vital component of the Chatham
Cultural Centre, along with the Thames Art Gallery and the Chatham-Kent Museum.!

According to the draft CK Cultural Plan Implementation Project 2014, in 2009, the net budget for
the Kiwanis Theatre was $226,928 and in 2014 it is (16,286).!

Lets contrast that to whats happened elsewhere in the Cultural Centre. In 2011, the Thames Art
Gallerys budget was $223,953 and in 2014, it is $234,607. The Chatham-Kent Museums 2011
net budget was $250,771 and in 2014 it is $262,252.!

At the same time that the budget for the Kiwanis Theatre has dropped dramatically, Theatre
Kent is seeing reduced revenues for a number of reasons, including the significant rental and
ticket handling fees that we pay at the theatre. !

The new report is also recommending that ticket handling fees increase from $1 to $2 or $3. We
assume thats in addition to the other theatre improvement handling fee of $1 per ticket that we
already pay. To give you some context, our ticket prices range from $10 to $20, so losing
another dollar or two on top of that will be crippling for us.!

Our other concern is that according to the report, the money that is being saved by the Kiwanis
Theatre serving solely as a rental space is being recommended to be put into a base budget for
ARTspace.!

We would like to remind council that of the three major components of the CCC, the theatre is
the only one which patrons are regularly charged to use. And, patrons who come to the theatre
and pay for the privilege often then wander through the gallery and/or the museum, thereby
adding to the stats for those venues.!

As supporters of all forms of the arts, Theatre Kent does not wish to undermine the contributions
and importance of either the gallery or the museum, but we would like to remind you that we are
not receiving any support from anyone, apart from our patrons.!

Rather than channeling a theatre surplus to any other function at the CCC, we would far rather
see our ticket handling fees frozen and those monies go into the theatre improvement fund so
that our patrons are no longer required to subsidize not only the theatre but ARTspace as well.!

!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

Sincerely,!

Karen Robinet!
President/Theatre Kent!

Photos of our production of The Sound of Music - 2011!


!

!
!

!
!