A new day is dawning for the Cowichan Theatre.
It’s all starting with a new name as the facility rebrands itself.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District announced Jan. 14 that the Cowichan Theatre will now be named Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.
The theatre has become known for hosting a wide variety of events since opening its doors in 1978 and it’s this variety that is prompting the name change, according to Sharon Jackson, chair of the Island Savings Centre Commission.
"The Commission loves the new name and new logos. As a designer myself, I was excited to see the dynamic refreshment of an older logo that has been in use for 30 years. The Commission is proud of this facility and happy to see that it is being actively promoted to the broader community," she said in making the announcement.
"We’re changing the theatre’s name now because of its unprecedented success.
"For one thing, Kirsten Schrader [manager of both the CVRD Arts and Culture Division and the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre] has been working very hard to bring in a number of very
highly successful programs and shows.
"We’re having more events there than ever. And, working with the Friends of the Cowichan Theatre, we realized there’s the Caprice Theatre, there’s the Mercury Theatre. There are theatres all over the place," Jackson said.
"And actually we don’t do that much theatre at the Cowichan Theatre, it’s more performing arts and music. So, that’s why we have taken the opportunity now.
"And a lot of it has to do with rebranding and marketing so we can bring bigger and better acts that will bring in profit. It’s important that the name reflects the facility’s reality," she said.
"When someone says it’s the Cowichan Theatre, someone might think it’s only a little 250-
seat theatre. Now if it’s the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Kirsten can go to Vancouver or wherever these big conventions are and say, yes, this is the biggest theatre on Vancouver Island. There’s no bigger theatre even in Victoria. And the equipment is being updated. We’re about to do technical training. It’s really ramping up the whole facility to become like a world class facility to reflect a theatre of this size.
"You’re going to be able to look forward to bigger and better and more exciting acts because we’re going to be able to sell it better," she said.
The theatre is going great guns, Jackson said.
"It’s actually really wonderful. They’ve got fabulous and creative marketing people there who are doing a terrific job and Kirsten is wonderful. It’s all good and what this change will do will bring even more culture to the Cowichan Valley."
Schrader is happy with the rebranding, too.
"The new name better reflects the diversity of performances here and the stature of the venue with the largest stage on Vancouver Island," she said. "We don’t just present theatre, but music, film, dance, choirs, comedy, art exhibitions and special events. It is a multi-dimensional facility that is truly a centre of creativity."
The name Cowichan Performing Arts Centre will begin appearing immediately on outdoor signage, brochures, advertising and on performance tickets.