Selkirk College Fine Woodworking Students Shine Spotlight on Talent at the Capitol Theatre

Selkirk College Fine Woodworking Students Shine Spotlight on Talent at the Capitol Theatre

Jul 08 2014
One of Nelson's cultural cornerstones received a boost from Selkirk College Fine Woodworking Program students this past spring when the group came on board the Capitol Theatre's facility improvement project with custom designed cabinets.

When Nelson’s Capitol Theatre went looking for a partner in its facility improvement project, they found plenty of helping hands at Selkirk College’s Fine Woodworking Program.

The Capitol Theatre’s $200,000 facelift includes a number of external, internal, technical and theatre system upgrades that is breathing new life into the important historic building that’s a cornerstone of the region’s cultural scene. A new HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), a bold new external paint job, handcrafted new wheelchair accessible entryway doors, and an overhaul of the lobby, greenroom, workshop, orchestra pit, loading area and exit doors are major components of the project that has been going on for more than a year.

The Selkirk College Fine Woodworking Program Class of 2014 were instrumental in helping the Capitol Theatre's improvement project.

“In my second year as executive director of the Capitol Theatre, I saw a need to start fundraising for this project,” says Stephanie Fisher, who took over operations at the theatre in 2011. “In its current incarnation, this facility has served the community very well for 26 years. But as is always the case, time catches up to facilities like ours.”

Fine Woodworking Program has Established Reputation

The project has received a great deal of financial assistance from the likes of the City of Nelson, Columbia Basin Trust, the Province of British Columbia’s BC Creative Spaces Program, Canadian Heritage Cultural Spaces Canada, the Amy Ferguson Institute and the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

When the portion of the project that included new cabinets in the theatre’s greenroom began earlier this year, Fisher reached out to another important community builder.

“When I was reviewing the amount of work that still needed to be done, I remembered the generosity of the Fine Woodworking Program students that took part in the Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art & History construction that I was the project manager on a few years back,” says Fisher. “They built the cabinets for the staff room and kitchen for Touchstones, doing such a fabulous job.”

Fisher approached Fine Woodworking Program instructor Michael Grace who happened to be looking for a student project for the cabinet portion of the popular nine-month program that is based out of Nelson’s Silver King Campus.

“Michael thought it was a good fit and a good community contribution,” says Fisher.

The handcrafted cabinets were built on the Silver King Campus and installed by the students in the spring.

Students Donate Time to the Project

Over the course of a few months, the 20 students in the program took part in the construction and installation of the cabinets. With the assistance of Selkirk instructors Dave Stryck and Dave Buller, the Capitol Theatre now has cabinets crafted by a class of students who have now graduated and embarked on new challenges with their Selkirk education.

The Selkirk College students donated their time to the project, allowing the cost of the cabinet portion of the project to be shaved considerably. The front doors were custom built by David Ringheim Custom Woodworks, a Selkirk College alumnus.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Capitol Facility Improvement Project please contact Stephanie Fisher at 250.352.6363.

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