I attended a concert of the Canadian Brass recently at the Venables Theatre in Oliver. (As Donna Schellenberg wrote in the Western News, March 16, one must leave Penticton frequently to find entertainment elsewhere.) It was a bitter-sweet emotion to see our beautiful red upholstered seats from the Pen High auditorium in the Oliver Theatre. I noted that the brass dedication plaques, paid for by public-spirited members of our community, had been removed from the seats. Where are those plaques now? Thrown into some dusty cupboard? And where is the stage lighting from Pen High?
The unseemly haste to demolish the Pen High auditorium and dispose of its fittings has certainly benefited other communities, while leaving our citizens without a viable concert hall.
Another casualty of that rash demolition was the damage done to Community Concerts, the 51-year-old institution has lost half its members due to the enforced move to the smaller Bethel Church. This move has naturally caused a large drop in CC’s revenue.
How ironic that the refurbished Shatford Centre Auditorium needs both seating and lights before it can be put to use. Oh well, I suppose we’ll will just have to fund-raise all over again.
As the eloquent speaker and expert on city livability Gerry Kenyon said at the recent annual Community Concert Dinner, “A well-provided community needs to be run with long-term vision.”
Long-term vision. Have they heard of this at City Hall?