THEATRE ENTRANCE The entrance to the Centre Stage Theatre in Summerland once featured a logo recognizing the sizeable bequeathment from Janet Ritchie. Summerland council, the Okanagan Skaha School District, the municipality’s Cultural Development Committee and the Recreation Department will work create signage for the building entrance to recognize donors. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Donors to Summerland Centre Stage Theatre will be recognized

Names of community donors are no longer displayed at facility

When Summerland’s Centre Stage Theatre was constructed in 1987, donations from community members made up more than one-quarter of the $776,000 cost.

But today, the names of the donors are no longer displayed at the entrance to the theatre and the JR logo, in recognition of Janet Ritchie, no longer graces the entrance to the building.

Ritchie gave bequeathment of $130,000 to the theatre, by far the largest donation from a community member.

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The names of the donors had been on display at the theatre in the past, but in 2018, when the school district renovated the entrance to the theatre, plaques acknowledging community contributions were removed and have not been reinstalled because of their mismatched look.

In a letter to the Summerland Cultural Committee, Susan Gibbs said the donor contributions should be recognized.

“I feel that it is important to recognize the contribution that citizens of Summerland have made to our cultural institutions in the past and by doing so, indicate that there is a part they can play in the continuing development of a vibrant cultural sector in our community,” the letter stated.

Council has approved a resolution to work with the school district, the Cultural Development Committee and the Recreation Department to create signage for the building entrance.

Municipal staff and the school district will also work to ensure the name Janet Ritchie Centre Stage Theatre be mounted prominently on the building exterior.

The theatre is run through a joint use agreement between the school district and the municipality.

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