NANAIMO – A $10,000 donation from Mid Island Co-op will help prepare Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Malaspina Theatre for the next act.

The theatre turns 40 this year, and after four decades and thousands of community and student performances, rehearsals and events, the seats have seen better days. Mid Island Co-op’s generous donation will replace an entire row of the theatre’s aging seats.

“Mid Island Co-op has always been a big supporter of cultural arts in our local community,” says Funding Chair Barb Peters. “The Co-op is very pleased to support the Encore campaign to upgrade the Malaspina Theatre so local groups and patrons can continue to enjoy the theatre that has been a part of our community for more than 40 years.”

VIU launched the Encore campaign earlier this spring to raise the money to replace theatre seats, upgrade technology and freshen up the lobby area. So far the community has responded with enough donations to replace half the seating in the theatre. The University is seeking the continued support of the community to replace the rest of the seats.

For as little as $100, donors can share in the revitalization of the theatre. Donations of $300 and $400 will get you a customized plaque on a seat, and all donors will be listed on the donor wall in the lobby.

“Every year, 10,000 people come to Malaspina Theatre for community theatre productions, conferences, graduation ceremonies, public debates, memorials, movie nights and much, much more,” says Leon Potter, Chair of VIU’s Theatre Department. “The theatre continues to fill an important need in the community for a mid-sized theatre. It means a lot that an organization like Mid Island Co-op has decided to support Nanaimo’s arts community in this way.”