By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Feb. 11, 2012.
The school board refused to waive $175 rental fees for the screening of a documentary next week.
Miss Representation, a documentary that highlights the negative effect of social media on youth, will be shown at the Eagle Eye theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
“We need to stop giving our facility for free,” said trustee Andrea Beaubien.
Beaubien said there are many community groups that are more than happy to pay the user fees because they want to support a community resource.
“We have a very valuable facility. It should not be given out for free,” she said.
Trustee Chris Vernon-Jarvis, however, said charging fees on the facility would hinder the use of theatre as a community facility.
He said the cost of bringing the movie to Squamish ($700) was steep enough to consider a waiver.
Jarvis, along with Rachael Lythe, and Laura Godfrey voted in favour of a fee waiver.
It was opposed by Pat Mackenzie, Andrea Beabuin, and Rebecca Barley.
The casting vote of Rick Price decided the matter: The rental fees won’t be waived.
Sheila Allen, the director of the Howe Sound Women’s Centre, one of the sponsors, called the decision “disappointing.”
She said the centre was charging only minimal fees to cover the cost for hosting the event.
“Considering we provide free presentations to all schools in the region, with no financial support, I would have hoped the school board would at least partner with us on this,” she said.
Beaubien said the Eagle Eye theatre has been rented out to non-profits without any fees in the past, but it’s a call that trustees have to make for each event.
In any case, non-profits and community groups are offered a discounted rate for the use of the theatre.
While non-profits and community groups can rent the theatre for $175 a day on the weekends, it is available for other users at $350.
The School Board collected $17,358 in 2010-11. Since July 2011, the school board has collected $8,581 in rental fees for Eagle Eye theatre.
For $2,500, the school district is also renting out the Squamish Elementary School playfield as part of a Live at Squamish campsite.