An appreciative cast and crew listened intently to the announcement on the Brock Jackson show this morning.
They cheered when the news came: thanks to Osoyoos Credit Union, the Osoyoos Secondary School theatre has $4,000 more to purchase background lights.
“I received the news this morning that we got the $4,000. We’re just so excited and grateful,” said OSS teacher Sarah Gilchrist. “I really think that this is going to add some life to the theatre. It’s in need of some updating.”
Sarah and her young team are in the midst of preparing for the musical Alladin. Five performances are scheduled for March 2018 and the school group is busy with rehearsals, set design and other technical elements.
Still, when Sarah heard about the OCU’s Community Giving grant program — and the $50,000 promised — she was quick to make the time to apply.
The OSS Drama Club was just one of eight organizations to receive funding from OCU.
The others include the Desert Valley Hospice Society, Osoyoos Airport Society, Osoyoos Gift Cupboard, Osoyoos International Curling Club, the OSS Breakfast Program, Desert Centre Society and Osoyoos Concert Series.
“My parents are getting involved in the community as well and I know other people who are involved with community groups,” she said. “Everyone I knew was applying for these grants, so I had no expectation at all.”
The LED lights the OSS Drama Club hopes to purchase for the theatre cost about $9,000. The club has raised about $2,000 through a Purdy’s Chocolates fundraiser and has hopes for additional funds delivered through community groups.
“Osoyoos Arts Council has made a tentative commitment and we’re waiting to hear back from the Rotary Club,” Sarah said.
The club is also looking forward to fundraisers at McKia’s Restaurant and the Sage Pub.
Sarah said the group expects to raise the $9,000 needed to purchase the lights and plans to go shopping shortly.
“We are going to buy them by the end of the month,” she said. “We need to get them in, we need to install them and then learn how to use them.”
Her hope is to continue with upgrades, replacing lights and production boards and giving new life to the aging facility.
“It’s just nice to see the fine arts thrive here,” she said. “For me, (the LED lighting) is just the start of what I’d like to do in there, but it’s a huge start and it’s going to make a difference in the quality of the productions.”