Capital Campaign – $1 Million Challenge

2017-2018 $1 Million Capital Campaign goal now surpassed!

The Belfry Theatre has been a thriving cultural destination in Victoria for over 40 years. Every year thousands of theatre-goers come to the Belfry to enjoy great theatre. We have stewarded our beloved heritage building over two phases of improvements and we have grown along with our audiences.

The Belfry began as a volunteer-run company sharing space in a former Baptist church with the Cool-Aid Society. Along the way we have transformed ourselves into a nationally-recognized theatre in a facility loved by everyone who has worked, performed, visited and experienced great theatre. We employ artists, craftspeople, educators and a dedicated professional staff, helped by over 250 volunteers.

Two previous stages of renovations in our 40 year history have gradually improved our facilities. Our most recent renovation over the summer of 2017 focused on the comfort of our patrons.

The new vision for the Belfry Theatre

> The lobby is at the heart of social interaction for everyone who visits the Belfry. It now has an atrium which has created more room for our patrons and the local community to be welcomed.

> We have replaced the worn seats in the Patrick Stewart Mainstage theatre for a quieter more comfortable experience. This was the first during the “quiet” phase of the Capital Campaign in 2016. IN 2019, we also installed new theatre-style seating in the BMO Studio Theatre.

> The concession area has been expanded to shorten line-ups and provide better service.

>Improved sound insulation has been installed between the lobby and the theatre, (allowing us to expand the women’s washroom and reduce the wait during intermission).

> We have resurfaced and upgraded the wheelchair ramp, providing a more welcoming approach to the Belfry.

> The theatre space and lobby were updated and repainted in 2017 for the first time in over twenty seven years.

Renovations and necessary upgrades from 2016 through to 2019 cost $1.7 Million. Thank you for helping us to surpass our original $1 Million goal to finance these upgrades!

With our major renovations completed, we subsequently financed further upgrades in 2018 through to 2019 including:

    • Installing new theatre-style seating in the BMO Studio Theatre in 2019
    • Replacing lighting equipment in 2019
    • Installing a new HVAC heating system for patron comfort in 2018
    • Unexpected fire remediation in electrical room backstage areas in 2018
    • Asbestos remediation in our carpentry shop flooring in 2018

Funding Partners

With help from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, we received a pledge of $340,000 in 2016 to help us make the lobby and public area improvements. But we needed to match this and raise more to make these vital improvements to your Belfry experience. Our donors stepped up to the challenge!

We later received a $100,000 pledge in 2019 from BMO Financial Group to complete our goal. In recognition of this major contribution, the Belfry renamed its second “black box” performance and rehearsal space (formerly known as “Studio A”) The BMO Studio Theatre. The space was renamed at a Season Launch and special announcements on April 3, 2019 and will hold this name for a minimum of 10 years through to 2029. We also leveraged a grant from the Province of BC Gaming Policy & Enforcement Branch towards the BMO Studio Theatre upgrades, and with further help from the Belfry’s longtime benefactor Paddy Stewart, lighting equipment that is used in both performance spaces was replaced in 2019.

Naming Opportunities  

We invited you to join us by supporting this special campaign through one of the many named gift opportunities available. Public areas of the building that were named include the Nikki & Bruce MacKenzie Atrium and the BMO Studio Theatre. Did you know that there are still a few naming opportunities available such as Studio B downstairs and the Historic Lobby? Talk to us about what is possible and your name could be in lights at the Belfry for a minimum of ten years. Contact us at the number or email below.

Jan, Daughter of Nikki and Bruce MacKenzie, in the beautifully renovated atrium.

Name A Seat

Click Here to find out how you can leave your legacy on one of theatre seats in the Patrick Stewart mainstage performance space.

Secure a lasting place in the fabric of the Belfry Theatre and our landmark heritage building. The Name A Seat campaign will continue until all of the seats are named, raising funds toward ongoing capital expenses to maintain our cherished heritage venue.

Celine Stubel sits with her arms folded across the back of the new seats.

Make a gift now

Every gift to the Belfry Capital Campaign is most valued and appreciated.

Gifts $2,500+ to the 2017-2018 Capital Campaign are recognized for a minimum of 10 years in our new lobby.

Gifts $100+ to the 2017-2018 Capital Campaign were recognized in our house programmes during the campaign through to May 2019.

For further information on recognition levels please contact Susan on 250-385-6835 Email:

Click on the Make a Donation button and choose Capital Campaign in the drop-down box.


You will receive a tax receipt for the full amount of your gift.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.

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