About Us

The Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society

The Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society was established  as a non-profit society in 2011 with the following purposes:

  1. Provide land, building and equipment to establish a performing arts venue to encourage and promote arts. culture and recreational activities for the citizens of the Nicola Valley.
  2. By fund-raising from all levels of government, corporate donations and donations from individuals to build a performing arts facility at 2102 Coutlee Avenue in Merritt, BC. The facility will be owned by the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society and operated by a hired staff.  The facility will be available to the community at a nominal fee to cover costs and in some circumstances there would be no charge.  The facility would be available to schools, the arts community and other community groups,  for conventions and for other suitable uses. 
  3. The Society proposes to build three cinema bays at the same site in addition to the performing arts theatre.  The cinemas will show first-run movies and also be available at times for community use.  The revenue from the cinemas will provide operating funds for the performing arts venue. To disburse income from the operation of the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society to community groups and award scholarships and bursaries according to the policy developed by the Board of Directors. 

 The Society is NOT a registered charity and therefore cannot issue income tax receipts. 

Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society Mission Statement

The Directors of the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society are:

Evelyn Armstrong     Evelyn is a practicing artist. She makes her home base in the Nicola Valley dividing her time between the studio art practice and teaching, gardening and beekeeping. She has had numerous solo art exhibitions and work in many national and international group art shows. From 1977-1994 she was a faculty member of the unique touring “Outreach” studio art program of the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, B.C. (now Emily Carr University of Art and Design). From 1987 to retirement in 2000 Evelyn taught and directed the Fine Arts and Visiting Artists’ Program at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt, B. C. Other public education activities include part-time teaching in the art program at the College of the Cariboo (now Thompson Rivers University) both in Williams Lake and in Kamloops, and artist in residence at Nelson, at Wells, and in the printmaking department at Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver. 

In 2013 Evelyn completed the requirements for the doctorial degree in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory. She has been a presenter at regional and international conferences, representing Canada at the 7th International Planta Europa Conference 2014 held on the Greek Island of Crete. Evelyn is a founding member of the Malaspina Printmakers’ Society in Vancouver, and the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council in Merritt. She is a member of the Nicola Valley Watershed Community Roundtable, a member of the ad hoc Home Sweet Home Environmental Group; and she is a volunteer Director of the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society, Merritt, B. C.

David Brown   A long time resident of Merritt, David has been working as a Financial Consultant CFP with Investors Group since 1999.  In this capacity, he specializes in creating holistic financial plans spanning estate planning, tax planning, investment analysis, risk management, education planning and retirement planning.   Previous to this, he spent twenty years in the resource industry (forestry) in the engineering and electrical departments. He is a past president of the Rotary Sunrise Club of Merritt and the past treasurer of the Club.  He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Community Futures Development Corporation.  He is a member of the Nicola Nordic Ski Club and the Nicola Valley Explorers Club.  Over the years he has volunteered for the Terry Fox Run, Big Bike Ride for Heart and Stroke, the cleanup of illegal dumping sites, Adopt a Road, Meals on Wheels, and Christmas Hamper donations.

Margaret Carlson    A long time resident of Merritt, Margaret practiced general medicine in the community for 26 years before retiring in 1992.  She was on the inaugural board of directors for Coquihalla House and S-yem/yi’m (Transition) House.  She is a Director of the Nicola Valley Health Care Endowment Foundation and was its President for a number of years. She sat on the board of the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council as a director for eight years, was president for four years and also chaired the Concert Committee.  She chaired the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre committee during the feasibility study and fund-raising period.  The Committee raised $250,000 for the Aquatic Centre. A few years later (2000), she helped to raise funds for the new Merritt Library.  Her leadership and efforts resulted in successfully meeting the fundraising targets for the Aquatic Centre and the Merritt Library

Kurt Christopherson    A long time resident of Merritt, Kurt served as an educator and school administrator for 31 years until his retirement in 2003.  He has been involved with youth soccer, softball, and minor hockey and served as director of Cubs and Beavers for several years.  Since retirement, he has done contract work for the University of Northern British Columbia as student teaching advisor and for the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in the area of adult literacy.  He has served as a member of the Moqwix Group which helps document stories of local First Nations Elders. He is a past director of the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council and served as chair of the Arts Council’s Concert Committee.  He currently serves on the Merritt Country Christmas Committee.

Tod Dean     Tod moved to Merritt in 2007 after purchasing Merritt Printing & Office Supplies. Since moving to Merritt he has been a Director of the Merritt Centennials Hockey team, Community Futures Nicola Valley, Merritt & District Chamber of Commerce and a member of the City Centre Board. He is a major sponsor of the Merritt Country Run and he also supports Country Christmas, the Pro Rodeo, Merritt Minor Hockey and the local Rotary clubs.

Richard Hodson     Rich is a long time resident of the Nicola Valley. Before retiring in April 2013, he worked as a Professional Forester for over forty years with the Ministry of Forests and Weyerhaeuser Canada Ltd and as a consulting Forester for JS Thrower of Kamloops.  He has been a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Merritt for many years and since retiring continues to be actively involved with the Club. He has sat on the volunteer fundraising committee of the Rotary Club organizing the indoor golf tournaments, Taste of India projects to raise funds for polio eradication around the world, road side clean up, and construction of the walking trail through Merritt’s Central Park. Rich is a Past President of the Sunrise Rotary Club. Rich enjoys cross country skiing and curling in the winter season and golf and walking in the summer season.

Al Norgaard     Al was born and raised in Merritt, and as well raised 2 daughters in Merritt which have both started their own families. He became involved with his family’s construction company in 1985, starting as a labourer and rapidly rose through the company becoming general manager of the Merritt operation and President of the corporation. In 2008 Norgaard Ready Mix won supplier of the year from CHBA Kamloops/Merritt. He currently sits on the board of directors for the BC Ready Mix Association as treasurer and has been a director with the Canadian Home Builders Kamloops as well as the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club. Mr. Norgaard and the family corporation have been very active members of the city of Merritt and continue by donating time, labour, equipment and materials to countless projects, from coaching several minor hockey teams, building the mountain bike park, retro-fit of the Merritt arena, several school play grounds and have sponsored countless events, groups and projects within the valley. Al has also volunteered at an international level doing humanitarian trips to Guatemala, Cambodia and Philippines building schools, a safe house and home with the non-profit international development organization Developing World Connection, which gathers volunteers and resources to support sustainable projects in communities all over the world.

Clara Norgaard     Since moving to Merritt in 1958, Clara has worked as an accountant for the family-run business, Norgaard-Ready Mix.  Active in provincial and federal politics for many years, she decided to run for Mayor of Merritt and was successful. Her term as mayor was from 1990 to 1999.  In the 1960s and 1970s she was president of the Chamber of Commerce for 10 years. Since leaving politics, she has been a director of Merritt Emergency Support Service for the City of Merritt and of the BC Ready-Mix Association.  Although officially retired, she continues to provide consulting services to Norgaard Ready-Mix.  She also helped start up a community garden, has been a strong supporter of the arts and the community in general and continues to take an active interest in the community and its well-being.

Mike Perkins     Michael is a recent resident of the Nicola Valley. A music educator and professional musician for over 35 years, he has recently retired from teaching but continues to be an active performer and clinician. He is a past coordinator of the Vancouver Kiwanis Jazz Festival, the B.C. Interior Jazz Festival and was actively involved with founding multiple community music ensembles, including the Night Owl Orchestra in Kelowna and the SeaTSky Big Band in Squamish. Michael performs with the Kamloops and Okanagan symphonies and locally, with the Nicola Valley Community Band and the Nicola Valley Brass Quintet. He enjoys skiing, mountain biking, golfing and riding his BMW motorcycle. Although a recent resident, Michael has taken an active interest in supporting and encouraging the local live performance scene.

Lorna Shuter     Mrs. Lorna Shuter is married to Mr. Keith Shuter and has two sons and three grandchildren. Before moving to Merritt, Lorna lived in Calgary where she owned her own horticultural business for ten years. After selling the business Lorna traveled to Indonesia for a while and then bought a small orchard in the Okanagan Valley where she grew fruit and sold it to the local markets for several years. After selling her orchard, Lorna moved to Merritt and settled down with her husband to raise a family on his family farm. Even though family is her first passion, Lorna still managed to get her hands dirty growing large vegetable gardens. Lorna has been both employed and a volunteer, doing several different jobs throughout Merritt. In 2004 Lorna graduated from NVIT/SFU with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies; specializing in Aboriginal Community Economic Development. Since then Lorna has worked within the Nicola Valley and the Lower Nicola Indian Band on several community development projects. Now Lorna has successfully completed the Office Administration Certificate program at the NVIT campus in Merritt. She also works part time at the NVIT academic library and is seeking full time employment with in the office administration industry.


*We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the province of British Columbia.

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