Theatre manager Sophie L’Homme is ecstatic to share the news that Tofino’s aging Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre is finally getting upgrades. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Theatre manager Sophie L’Homme is ecstatic to share the news that Tofino’s aging Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre is finally getting upgrades. (Nora O’Malley photo)

BC Arts grant funding breathes new life into Tofino’s community theatre

“Once it’s done, it’s going to be a pride of the town.”

Sophie L’Homme looks radiant as she cuts across the lawn in front of Tofino’s Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre.

It’s been a challenging year for the Tofino and Ucluelet choir director and prolific musician, but looking forward L’Homme has much to smile about. On March 24, the BC Arts Council revealed its list of 47 arts infrastructure grant recipients and the Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre Association (CSCTA) was awarded funding to the tune of $75,000.

The grant enables the CSCTA to dive into phase one of a major renovation project that will transform the aging, almost 40-year-old community theatre into a healthier and more accessible space for everyone.

“We jumped up and down when we were told we received the grant. It’s an honour to be on that list of recipients. It’s very amazing,” said L’Homme. She thanked senior theatre consultant Scott Windsor and Cindy Hutchison at the District of Tofino for helping make dreams of the new theatre take flight.

When the pandemic closed the theatre, L’Homme lost her job as theatre manager. Choir practices were also cancelled and the Tofino Jazz Festival was axed.

“COVID is really, really hard on the arts. We haven’t been able to perform and the artists haven’t been able to come, but somehow it brought us time to have perspective and that was the perfect time for me. I didn’t have choir, but I finally had time to work on the grant project. It gave us time to think about the future,” she said.

Phase one of the theatre project involves gutting the space entirely, laying down a new sprung floor and “putting it back to a black box” as L’Homme describes. Phase two will involve replacing the original risers with electrical retractable risers and collapsible chairs, painting the walls, upgrading to an LED lighting system, and adding windows to the north side of the space looking out towards the harbour.

“During the day, there is going to be natural light coming in. It’s going to be a clean, healthy space for rehearsals, workshops, exhibits, or classes. At night, in a snap, the room turns back into a theatre,” L’Homme said, adding that they will be installing new fire retardant curtains and that the new floor configuration allows for a standing audience.

To reach the full potential of the upgrade, the CSCTA will need to fundraise upwards of $150,000. Community members and theatre lovers can support the project by sponsoring a seat for $1,000. L’Homme says 72 chairs need a sponsor and donors will get their name on a permanent plaque at the entrance of the theatre. CSCTA is also looking for bigger corporate sponsorships and is looking at applying for bigger grants.

“The legacy will remain and it will have the same magic and ghosts,” notes L’Homme. “Once it’s done, it’s going to be a pride of the town.”

Anyone interested in supporting the artistic project is encouraged to email L’Homme at tofinotheatre@gmail.com.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: Tofino-Ucluelet Choir’s magic connects Coast

READ: ‘Trickster’ fans question why CBC cancelled the series instead of finding new path

ArtsTheatreTofino,

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hotel Zed Tofino has won a Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Award. (Westerly file photo)
Hotel Zed Tofino wins commercial building award

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board holds virtual gala.

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht public works dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Top developments north of the Malahat honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo’s Village on Third takes top honour at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read