Arts Night Out first step to open the Penmar doors

Penmar Community Arts Society is swinging for the fences with its first fundraiser of the year.

Penmar president Kerri Milton said they are looking to exceed the total raised

Penmar president Kerri Milton said they are looking to exceed the total raised

Penmar Community Arts Society is swinging for the fences with its first fundraiser of the year.

The second annual Arts Night Out will be held on Feb. 5 at the Lakeside Resort as the first big step of the Open the Doors campaign, raising money for the Penmar Community Arts Theatre.  Last year, the first Arts Night Out wound up being the largest fundraiser of the year for the Penmar, bringing in about $36,000. With a goal of matching last year’s total and a hope of surpassing it, Penmar Society president Kerri Milton said this year’s fundraiser needs to go well.

“It is step one towards our end goal, so if it fails it isn’t looking very good for moving into phases two and three,” Milton said.  “We’re in a difficult position when our AGM is up whether to continue with the Penmar Society or not. Our membership all voted that they wanted for this to continue moving forward, so it’s really important this fundraiser goes well so they can keep moving it forward as the community is asking.”

Phase 1A is currently underway in the theatre, which includes renovations to two smaller auditoriums, the lobby, concession area and bathrooms. Once complete, the theatre can open its doors and stay open while construction on the other phases begins. However, Penmar still needs $165,000 to complete the renovations. Milton is hoping to raise those funds by mid-April, and at this point she is optimistic.

“So far yes, this looks attainable,” she noted. “We’ll know more once our crowd funding platform gets launched because we raised $41,000 in 12 days (in a previous crowd funding fundraiser) so that’s a big sum of money. Part of that crowd funding piece too was that we had a lot of local contractors come forward and volunteer their services.  So when we say we need $160,000, with the volunteer work that number will actually come down.”

The doors to Arts Night Out open at 6 p.m., and the evening features entertainment, appetizers, dinner, a dance and a silent auction of art created by local artists and items donated by local businesses.

Tickets can be purchased online at penmar.ca or at the Downtown Penticton Association office at $60 each, or $420 for a table of eight.