$65,042 raised!
$99,958 to go!

About the Community Arts Theatre

What is this sudden Fundraising push all about?

In late 2015, the property owners of 361 Martin St requested that the Society either begin paying rent as of January, or take up their offer to purchase the property. It was decided that the best chance was to launch a short-term fundraising campaign for $200K using Kickstarter. It was hoped that it would raise the funds required to finish the Tenant Improvements to Phase One. This would enable the Society to start generating revenue and would also make it possible to pay rent. The Kickstarter campaign raised over $40K from 202 backers, which was impressive in such a short time, but was not enough to complete the renovations. After the campaign finished, many letters and phone calls came to the Society with regards to people wanting to help, or contribute in some way. It seemed that although the campaign did not fund, it had unexpectedly been an excellent marketing activity.

At the December 29th Society Annual General Meeting, the membership voted to continue the fundraising effort, taking lessons from the December Kickstarter campaign. The message was:

  • Do it again; but better.
  • Make it longer.
  • Promote it wider.
  • Don’t just make it an online campaign.
  • Get more people involved.

A catchy name was offered, and so the 'Open the Doors' fundraising campaign was born; a multi-prong promotional effort designed to reach as far as possible, leverage as many people's skills as possible, and raise the money as quickly as possible.

This campaign was constructed such that everyone who believes in the value of a Community Theatre can take part. There are opportunities for grassroots promotion through letter writing, and hosting private coffee chats as well as ways for businesses to pre-purchase on-screen advertising or performance groups to pre-rent theatre time. There are rewards for financial contributions and fun events that will raise money to add to the fundraising pot.

We urge you to take time to read through the options - and if you don't see something there that suits you.. dream something up!  Hold a bake sale, offer to host a party, donate a portion of revenue for the sale of a certain product.  We are open to your creativity to help us all Open The Doors!


Here is what we have come up with:

A More Comfortable Timeframe

The pressure to raise funds as quickly as possible still remains. The building is currently up for lease or sale, although we have first option for 30 days. This new campaign will offically launch January 25th and run until April 1st

Crowdfunding: Accessible to Everyone

  • A revamped fundraising platform that will allow for online pledges as well as cheques, cash & e-transfers to be tallied as they are received. We selected our most popular rewards from the Kickstarter campaign and brought them over. We also created an option for straight donation, regardless of the fundraising outcomes - this will help us to cover campign costs and other operation sundries that creep up as we work hard to make YOUR community Theatre a reality.

Charitable Tax Options

  • Some donors have asked for this instead of the fundraising reward items. We can now issue a tax receipt for donations over $50, in place of a reward

Engaging Events/Custom Fundraising

  • We will be hosting at least two great events:

February 5th - ‘Arts Night Out’: a formal gala evening including red carpet entry, buffet dinner, fantastic auction, and a stellar line-up of live entertainment. Buy your tickets here

April 1st - Campaign Close Party: details to come

  • Several businesses have approached us with ideas on how they can support the campign by contributing a service or percentage from sales of a certain product

In Kind Support

  • Lots of opportunity for reducing costs can be explored by skilled trades people offering expertise and/or labour to complete renovations, or services such as printing or advertising to help promote the campaign

Spread the Word Far and Wide!

If everyone who was excited about this project could encourage 10 other people in their network to get involved somehow, our goal would be achieved very quickly. So we have created the ‘Be Noisy’ option.

  • Write letters to Council, to the Regional District, to the media
  • Lobby our government for support 
  • Invite your friends over for tea and a chat
  • Host a small fundraiser of your own
  • We’ll help as best we can

We need everyone to really commit to making this happen. Your Board of Directors are a passionate and dedicated group...

We need you ALL to build YOUR community theatre.

Penmar Community Arts Theatre

Quick Facts

Benefits of a theatre like this in the community

  • Cultural Tourism – attract & retain visitors to come more often and for longer
  • Downtown vibrance – re-energize the 300 block of Martin St & build on cultural attractions in the neighbourhood
  • Affordable live and film entertainment – business plan is designed with family-friendly prices in mind
  • Support existing performance organizations – provide an affordable mid-sized venue

Groups who would use it

  • Local performance groups (dance, music, theatre, etc)
  • Private functions
  • Non-profits (AGM’s, speakers sessions, film series, other rental uses)
  • School groups for educational field trips
  • Touring performers – provide a professional facility to attract performers travelling the route from Vancouver to Calgary

What the future looks like once we open the doors

  • We can start generating revenue
  • Additional government funding – many grant options are only available once a facility is operational
  • Minimum $30K in sponsor funds will be released when doors open
  • Co-op property purchase option – we can continue to build the momentum for the Community to buy the property at a greatly reduced price and be the landlords of this performance facility
  • Further renovations to build the dream – Phase 1b, 2 and 3 are designed and ready to build once the funding is in place


Our business plan has been vetted by people who are knowledgeable in the entertainment industry, in facility operations and in the start up & operation of cultural venues. A strength of our business model is our unique and innovative COMMUNITY GIVE BACK MODE:

  • We provide referral income opportunities for RDOS based non-profit organizations to earn commissions for referring ticket sales to events hosted by the Penmar. Promoters and external booking organizations will be encouraged to offer similar commissions as an opportunity to lower marketing costs and reach a broader market
  • Grant program for regional artists and arts organizations – structure of the granting program is under development right now, but we are looking into how partnership with the City and organizations such as Community Foundations could support the process. It is important to us that the granting decisions be made by people who are knowledgeable about arts & culture.
  • Free venue rental opportunities for community groups (a number of days set aside througout the year, on application for rent free usage)


To encourage involvement by everyone in the Region we offer discounted memberships to those living outside the immediate Penticton area. The Penmar will act as a conduit for bringing touring performances and rented films to other RDOS towns. We can help reduce costs & administration time for those districts by co-booking performers and extending film rentals to their region. Also, the Penmar used to provide substantial cultural opportunity to school groups in the form of film screening field trips. This can occur once more, only the offerings will be broader, with the addition of live performance & lectures.


  • Increased activity to the area
  • Compatible with the Martin Street, Westminster Avenue revitalization
  • New employment
  • In later renovationphases - a new facade and new construction into the north parking lot


  • An operating theatre is far more likley to attract greater investment interest that will allow the final renovation phases to be completed
  • Goverment funding opportuntiies become availabel to facilities already in operation
  • Once open, the facility can measure the market demand and build accordingly


  • Kerri Milton (Executive Director, DPA), President/Director
  • Christa Phillips (Valley First liaison), Secretary/Director
  • Jim Morrison (Professional Engineer), Director
  • John Devitt (Business Developemnt Specialist), Director
  • Jennifer Vincent (Business Owner & Community Catalyst), Director
  • Tarik Sayeed (City Council liaison), Non-Voting Director – on Leave of Absence

Together we represent experience in entertainment, facility management, business management, marketing, construction, project management and strategic community building.