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Massey Theatre cooking up plans for community activations in New West

Rotary Club of New Westminster donates $10,000 toward community kitchen at Eighth & Eight in New Westminster
The Massey Theatre Society is grateful to the Rotary Club of New Westminster for its $10,000 donation toward a community kitchen.

A much-needed kitchen at Massey Theatre is a step closer to becoming a reality thanks to the Rotary Club of New Westminster.

The Massey Theatre Society is celebrating a $10,000 donation from the Rotary Club of New Westminster, which will help fill a need in the community for a community kitchen.

“We’re thrilled to be able to support this fantastic initiative,” said Gabor Gasztonyi, co-president of the Rotary Club of New Westminster. “We challenge other local business organizations to match our donation so this kitchen can serve our community.” 

The donation will be directed towards the Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces community kitchen in the Massey Theatre complex.

According to the society, the community kitchen will be used to enhance the day-to-day life of the facility. It will also enable a whole new variety of social, cultural and activations, as there is currently no appropriate kitchen space in the facility.

“The facility would be used to feed artists, activate community programs, service fundraisers, meetings, cultural celebrations, awards ceremonies, as well as performances and arts programs,” said a press release from the Massey Theatre Society. “Eighth & Eight will look to participate in food sustainability programs, local food and beverage markets, educational and community cooking programs, streaming cooking shows and coffee talks and more.”

Massey noted these are the sorts of offerings that will be able to be programmed in the community kitchen once the space is complete.

“The Rotary Club has supported Massey Theatre Society several times over the years,” Jessica Schneider, executive director of Massey Theatre Society, said in a news release. “Their support is always a reminder of how strong our community is and gives us a boost of confidence that what we do is relevant and valued.”

The Massey Theatre Society is currently fundraising to complete the kitchen and to get started with community activation, connection and creation. This $10,000 donation is one-quarter of the funding needed to complete this kitchen.

In 2021, the City of New Westminster took ownership of Massey Theatre and buildings in the complex, which had previously been owned by the school district and were part of New Westminster Secondary School. The city approved a 25-year lease to the Massey Theatre Society, which will use the theatre, the adjacent classrooms, band rooms and small gymnasium for arts, cultural and community uses.

Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces comprises more than 57,000 square feet of space in the Massey Theatre complex, including the 1,260-seat theatre.