An artist's rendering of what the Penmar Community Arts Theatre will look like if the project comes to fruition

An artist's rendering of what the Penmar Community Arts Theatre will look like if the project comes to fruition

Penmar’s bleak future comes down to crowdfunding campaign

The Penmar Community Arts Society is hoping that its latest plea for help won’t be its dying breath

The Penmar Community Arts Society is hoping that its latest plea for help won’t be its dying breath.

Nearly half-a-million dollars has been raised to revive the historic theatre, but the group is about $190,000 shy from bringing the project to life. After launching the initiative two-and-a-half years ago, it’s now do or die.

“The ownership group is tired of waiting and if this doesn’t happen, the doors will be closed forever and the Penmar will become apartment buildings,” said president Kerri Milton. “This building’s been in the downtown since 1956 so there’s a lot of emotional attachment to it. It’s been part of many peoples lives and the last thing anyone wants is to see it demolished.”

As an extra effort to reach the target, Milton has applied through Kickstarter to begin an online fundraising campaign, which she said is awaiting the approval process.

With the efforts that have been made so far, auditoriums three and four have been refinished to include new chairs and digital projection equipment.

“It’s totally different than two-and-a-half years ago,” Milton said.

Those investments won’t be of any use for an apartment complex.

Milton doesn’t want to imagine the PenMar losing its designation as a theatre, but if it happens, the board will have to decide how to salvage its unneeded assets.

“A lot of private business and enterprise have put a lot of time, effort and money into this project,” she said. “Everybody on the board is a volunteer, they’re all very passionate. They’re acting upon a demand from the community. The community really wanted to see this happen and requested it, so we’re working diligently to make that a go.”

If the society closes in on the target without reaching it, the board will evaluate the situation during the annual general meeting on Dec. 16.

The Society launched a co-operative initiative in September, inviting the community to invest in owning and maintaining the PenMar property, which will augment the Society’s role in overseeing day-to-day operations.

“If you’re an investor in the co-op it is strictly to buy the land and the property,” Milton said.

If the PenMar Society folds, the co-op will follow.

“The current ownership group will take back the PenMar and we’ll have to dissolve everything.”

Milton praised the current owners for being ‘incredibly generous’ for going 2.5 years without earning any rent from the building.

To visit the Penmar’s Kickstarter page, visit


Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Black smoke can be seen rising from the mountain

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read