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Vic Juba Community Theatre needs your help

By April 29, 2022No Comments
America’s Got Talent winner Paul Zerdin performs at the Vic Juba Community Theatre in 2018. File Photo

 

The Vic Juba Community Theatre recently celebrated its 20th birthday, but due to the lack of operations and capital funding, the theatre is asking for a very specific birthday present.

“In 20 years of operating there’s been no major renovations done here, so it’s really almost come to a pinnacle turning point where we really need to get some things done capital wise, but we also need to start making money,” said Jen McConnell, general manager of the Vic.

“We need to get these things back up and operating with good equipment so that it’s reliable, and any little bit can help.

“Whether it’s coming to a show, telling a friend, sharing our posts on social media, all of those things will help get us back to the green again.”

The recent two-year pandemic hasn’t been good for the live-entertainment industry, and the team at the Vic is really feeling that pressure. McConnell also noted theatre staff are still getting questions about public health restrictions. 

“Unfortunately since we’ve reopened without restrictions, people are still unsure as to what restrictions we have,” she said. “We follow the Saskatchewan Health Authority, so as soon as they change their restrictions, so did we. 

“We haven’t had any restrictions in place since the middle of January.”

With these restrictions being a thing of the past, McConnell invites anyone and everyone to come out and check out a show and help get the theatre back to where it should be.

“With the shutdowns over the last two years, operations funding has been very, very minimal. We’ve also had capital projects come up that are pretty critical to the theatre such as our amps, lighting, basically, the whole facility needs an upgrade,” she said, adding the fact it’s been tough to book acts since pandemic restrictions were lifted. 

“The industry itself is in turmoil and everyone’s scrambling to try and get things back on. We’re also still dealing with different restrictions throughout different provinces and the industry hasn’t rebounded yet,” she said. “Groups are also hesitant to book events right now because they don’t want to have to cancel them.”

As a whole, the theatre primarily operates as a volunteer-based non-profit organization, and McConnell also noted if you can’t donate funds, please donate time.

“I just can’t say enough thanks to the people that have supported us over the years. We have a pretty small but mighty team of roughly 50 people on our roster we can call on,” said McConnell, adding the theatre is always looking for new volunteers.

“If we can get some new people in that are interested in supporting arts and culture in the community and in this kind of space, then that’s really going to help breathe life back into the theatre as well.”

To help bring the Vic back into the green, the theatre launched what they’re calling the Donate $20 for 2022 campaign.

“It’s a campaign we’re running on our website, vicjubatheatre.ca/donate, where people can log in and donate $20 to that campaign for the theatre, and that’s to keep our lights on,” she said.

“Right now we don’t have enough operating funds in the bank to ensure this whole year can happen unless we start seeing sold-out shows.”

McConnell said another issue the theatre is facing is the reality there aren’t currently many artists touring, and the ones that are, don’t sell out the Border City.

“We had booked The Trews and they cancelled. We tried to reschedule and they couldn’t find us a date this year, nor even next year at this point,” said McConnell.

“It’s important to experience what we have here in Lloydminster, and now more than ever is when we need that help and people to show support.”

If the pandemic never happened, the theatre wouldn’t be in as much hot water and two years of revenue wouldn’t have been lost. 

“If we don’t deal with these things soon we’re not going to have the facility that we have now.”

Visit vicjubatheatre.ca for upcoming shows and more information on fundraising campaigns.