This project helped to build the Sid Williams Theatre Society's capacity to serve the community as a rental venue and as a venue to showcase creative talent.
The Sid Williams Theatre is the only fully-staffed live performance venue in the Comox Valley for the communities of Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland and the surrounding region. The theatre was built in 1935 as a movie theatre and, due to its smaller size, receives only a small amount of provincial funding to support theatre use revenue. In 1999, large scale upgrades to the facility’s auditorium, balcony, lobby and dressing rooms were completed with subsequent improvements to the stage surface, elevator, electrics, draperies, rigging and projection systems. The sound and lighting systems did not meet the standard for professional touring acts, severely limiting the theatre’s potential despite upgrades to the physical facilities.
To optimize theatre use, the full lighting and sound arrays were replaced with state of the art performance systems and training was provided to the facility’s technicians.
These improvements, completed in 2015, have enabled the Sid Williams Theatre to take its proper place as a destination venue and improve the quality of its attractions, allowing it to appeal to a wider audience. For example, the improvements have allowed the theatre to stage more ambitious productions, such as Vancouver Arts Club Theatre’s Avenue Q, as well as new dance and live theatre performances for the 2014-2015 season, attracting a broader regional audience and generating incremental economic benefits in the community.