Rainbow Theatre renovations delayed

Whistler Film Festival won't get new home until next year; fundraising efforts continue

The planned renovation of Whistler's Rainbow Theatre to create a new home for the Whistler Film Festival has been delayed.

Instead of being ready for this year's film festival starting Nov. 30, local officials are now saying they hope construction will begin in spring 2012 and be completed in time for next year's event.

A press release issued by the Whistler Film Festival Society on Tuesday (Aug. 2) also said there has still been no decision from the Department of Heritage on the $1.1 million grant application for the project.

Construction for the theatre renovation was originally targeted to begin on May 1, but was pushed back a first time in April when no decision had been received on the grant application. At the time, however, local officials said they were still working towards a completion date in time for the 2011 festival.

While word on the grant was expected in mid-May, this week's press release indicates an outcome is expected by September.

Over the past three years, Shauna Hardy Mishaw, director of the Whistler Film Festival, along with John Rae, the municipality's manager of strategic alliances,Tourism Whistler officials and other partners have been working together to try to get the $2.5 million needed for the theatre renovation.

The society launched its Future in Focus campaign in 2009, aiming to raise a total $5 million for the renovation plus a range of other initiatives to develop the film-related industry in Whistler.

The development of a world-class, state-of-the-art screening facility is essential to the success of the plan, the release states. The renovated venue will be renamed Festival Theatre.

To date, more than $1 million of the capital budget for the theatre project has been raised, including a $500,000 commitment from the municipality. Other donors include the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, American Friends of Whistler, American Express, Resort Reservations Whistler and others.

The next major fundraiser is Soiree 2011: A Wine and Food Affair set for Oct. 1 at Araxi restaurant. The event includes a five-course dinner with wine pairings, a special guest appearance and a silent auction. Tickets are $500 per person and include a $250 tax receipt.

"With Festival Theatre construction now slated to be completed for the 2012 festival, we are escalating our fundraising efforts to ensure we achieve our goals by the end of next year," Hardy Mishaw said in the release. "Soiree is a key event that will help to support this project and our vision."
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.

article continues below
© Copyright Whistler Question

Question POLL

Is Whistler doing a better job of co-existing with bears?

or  view results

Popular Question Local