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Cowichan Performing Arts Society desperate for members

Society may have to fold if nobody joins
The Cowichan Performing Arts Society paid for a hearing loop for all the new seats at the Cowichan Theatre recently. The Society, however, is in danger of folding. (Cowichan Performing Arts Centre photo)

The Cowichan Performing Arts Society is in dire need of some new blood.

According to the CPAS’s secretary, Pat Fiddis, community members were instrumental in starting the Society in 1991 and, over the years, have raised funds and collected dues from interested members. But membership has been dwindling over the last few years.

“At the AGM last year, only five people were interested in being on the board, myself included,” Fiddis explained. “In November last year a Special General Meeting was held to discuss and vote on the future of the Society. Over 200 people were contacted and just 10 people attended, including the board.”

No decision as to the fate of the CPAS was decided at that time.

Fast forward to February 2023 when more than 50 dues-paying members were contacted to attend the annual general meeting.

“Eight people attended,” Fiddis said. “Again including the board and four of the board members have now resigned.”

She explained that with the numbers as low as they are, the society may be lost for good.

“Over the years funds have been raised for the [Cowichan] Theatre, some of them including good seating for the stage, booster seats for the children, etc.,” Fiddis noted.

She added that the society has recently given $18,000 for a hearing loop to be attached to all the new seats in the theatre so those who have hearing aids or cochlear implants are better able to hear the performances more clearly.

“We feel that the residents of the Cowichan Valley will not wish this Society to disappear,” Fiddis said.

Members of the 2023 board include returnees, Colleen Irwin and Mary Anne Deacon, as well as Fiddis, Gail Taylor and Alice Sinclair.

For more information email:

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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