A $100,000 donation is the start of a $2.5 million fundraising campaign for the Mary Winspear. From left: Richard Paquette (President, Memorial Park Society), Gwyn Morgan, Patricia Trottier, Sheilah Fey (President, Mary Winspear Foundation), and Brad Edgett (Executive Director, Mary Winspear Centre).

$100k donation kicks off Mary Winspear fundraiser

The Mary Winspear Centre is beginning a $2.5 million fundraising campaign for eventual renovations, and it began on July 9 with a $100,000 donation from Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier.

In an interview, Trottier said she and Morgan have been residents of North Saanich for 12 years, and Sidney is their home base and their community.

“The Mary Winspear Centre is really the heart and soul of Sidney,” said Trottier in an interview. “It’s used for everything, activities like yoga, arts, sculpture, antique shows. So without the Mary Winspear Centre, there’d be a real hole in this community.”

Trottier said the expansion and upgrade was important, and the community was important to them.

Their foundation typically focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers (STEM) for youth, but Trottier said they made an exception because of the facility’s importance to their community. In the past, they have also donated $1 million to Camosun to support women in trades and to the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, among other recipients.

Brad Edgett, executive director of the Mary Winspear Centre, said the facility is 17 years old and requires continual maintenance and improvement.

“Gifts like this will go to new lighting, new sound, new technology in the theatre. Constantly upgrading the centre to give the patrons what they deserve,” said Edgett.

Edgett said it is the first major fundraising initiative the Centre has undertaken in the last decade. The community raised $7.3 million to build the theatre at the turn of the millennium, but he said it is time to bulk up the reserve fund for continual improvements.

The Centre is funded in part by the District of North Saanich and the Town of Sidney, said Edgett, but that only covers about a third of their operating costs. It is not wholly owned by a government entity like the Royal and McPherson Theatres, which are owned by the Capital Regional District. The remainder of their operations are funded from the proceeds of their events.

The Centre recently upgraded the flooring in the Bodine Family Hall, and the donation from Morgan and Trottier would go to similar infrastructure improvements via a reserve fund.

Just Posted

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

Campfires now prohibited in Sooke

A campfire ban on B.C.’s south coast, including the entire Sooke Region,… Continue reading

Sooke soccer team returns home from Paris

A local soccer team has returned home after a 10 day trip… Continue reading

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

Cougar shot by police in Nanaimo

Shooting occurred in water at Nanaimo Yacht Club at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday

BC Games opening ceremonies promise to be magical

Features Shane Koyczan and his band, Asani, parade of athletes, and lots more

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

‘Recovery high schools,’ per diems urged to better manage addiction in B.C.

BC Centre for Substance Use says focus needs to shift to from overdose prevention to long-term care

Most Read