By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 1 2016
The new owner of the former Beaver Theatre is creating four working committees that will help guide the revitalization of the building in downtown Minden.
As reported earlier in the Times Oshawa-based Rahim Lakhani purchased the theatre in September and has plans to rehabilitate it as a multi-use space that would function under a not-for-profit structure.
In the past couple of weeks Lakhani has held meetings with stakeholders including a meeting with members of the local arts community in Haliburton on Nov. 17 and one with members of the business community in Minden on Nov. 24.
“Instead of putting a board together what we’re going to do is start at the working committee level” Lakhani told the paper.
Those four working committees include one for events and programming; one for building design licensing rehabilitation and maintenance; one for marketing outreach membership rewards and fundraising; and one for finance and business development. Time commitments would likely vary between four and 14 hours per week depending on the committee.
“Much discussion ensued with regard to the possibility of which type of not-for-profit entity would be best” read minutes from the Nov. 24 meeting. “The idea of a co-op seemed to gain the most approval. The Aron Theatre Co-Operative Inc. in Campbellford was proposed as a model to follow.”
“Rahim proposed that the not-for-profit theatre would be a tenant of the theatre landlord” the minutes read. “The township could be an anchor tenant in addition to the theatre.”
Lakhani is hoping to have the facility open for summer of 2017 and visited Minden Hills council with his plans during a meeting earlier this month. He has submitted an application to the township for a minor variance that would allow for the construction of an addition to building.
Anyone interested in joining one of the working groups is encouraged to email email@example.com. They will receive a bounce-back email with links to the theatre’s website and social media accounts as well as an option to subscribe to an online newsletter with updates on the project.
Lakhani is planning on hosting a public meeting for the community at large in the new year and may hold a contest for the naming of the theatre.