NORTH BATTLEFORD - The 2022 budget for the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts was presented to North Battleford’s council meeting Monday night.
The Dekker Centre’s General Manager Kali Weber presented the budget, which projects a small surplus from January to December 2022 of $4,160.90.
The Dekker Centre has seen significant disruption over the last year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the postponement or cancellation of numerous shows and potential rentals.
The Dekker Centre is anticipating less disruption over the coming year, and are budgeting accordingly. Weber told council, who were meeting over the Zoom platform, that their budget is based on actuals from 2018 and 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The Dekker Centre receives an annual operating grant from the city of $235,000 and are anticipating additional grants of $25,000, based on grants they had received before. Weber said they plan to apply for a “significant” grant from SaskArts of $20,000, something they were unsuccessful in obtaining in their most recent application.
There will also be fundraising efforts. Weber told council the 2022-23 season will be the 10th anniversary year of the Dekker Centre, and their goal is to use the celebration to “potentially fundraise for significant projects that will help build our audience, and also continue to improve the beautiful facility that is the Dekker Centre.”
Councillor Kent Lindgren, who is one of council's representatives on the Dekker Centre board, pointed out at the meeting that there has been a lot of discussion and work put in by the Dekker Centre staff to look into grants and funding programs outside the City of North Battleford, "which hasn't always been done."
Lindgren said it has been a priority to look into those other options. Weber confirmed they plan to keep applying for those grants.
Weber said COVID-19 risk management is “a thing that we deal with every day.”
Weber said they have no idea how the pandemic will shift in 2022, but she said they are confident they have enough risk management in place to “ensure the Dekker Centre is as protected as we can be as we move forward presenting shows and renting our facility to our community and beyond.”
Weber said they have updated their Force Majeure clauses in case of another government-imposed gathering restriction or additional measures that may affect revenue they receive.
Weber also said that in order to keep all their staff working and healthy, as well as the community, they have adopted a full vaccination policy for any person that comes into the Dekker Centre including staff, volunteers, artists and patrons. This policy encompasses both public and private events.
Weber told council this policy has received wide support, and they have had few people cancel or ask for a refund given the policy.
They are also announcing new shows a half season at a time. The plan is to announce the shows for January to June sometime at the end of November. Weber said if shows have to be postponed or cancelled, most of that work is being done behind the scenes without having to involve the public.
“It has been a difficult year and a half for everyone and we are immensely grateful for the support that we have received,” Weber said.