When it comes to the entertainment business, the show must always go on. But on July 19, 2002, the Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre (KWLT) suffered a tragic setback that imperiled the legendary community theatre to such a degree that few initially thought the lights would ever come on again.
On that fateful night, the locally treasured theatre, founded in 1920, burned completely to the ground.
“It was gutted,” says Carrie McNabb, Treasurer and member of the KWLT Board of Directors. “It was a real painful point because it wasn’t just things that were burned… There were so many things … like old scripts and old costumes. We had a huge collection of props that we lost.”
For McNabb and her colleagues, the theatre has occupied such a special place in their hearts that the resolve to restore the facility to its former glory has never wavered.
“My involvement began as an actor,” the devoted treasurer admits. “I auditioned for one of their plays and I got cast. But throughout the years, I’ve become more and more involved. I’m on the board of directors. I’ve directed shows. It’s just a great community. I’ve met so many of my closest friends here… It’s practically my life.”
Unfortunately, even after ten years, the devastating effects of the inferno still smolder at the Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre. As a result, McNabb reached out to Intuit last fall by entering the Small Business Big Wishes campaign.
“Thanks to volunteers who helped rebuild our space, we’ve been back in our space since 2009,” McNabb penned in her wish entry. “But we still don’t have a sign. For a theatre dependent on foot traffic, this makes a huge difference! Please help make our dreams come true and give our volunteers the recognition they deserve!”
Shortly before the end of 2012, McNabb received the good news. KWLT is getting the signage it desperately needs.
“Thank you so much,” McNabb said. “It’ll be so great. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard from audience members that walked in and said ‘I didn’t even know you guys were here. I just thought it was an abandoned building.’ So as much as we try to make everything look nice… without that sign it doesn’t look like a business. It’s the credibility that a sign will really give us.”
Big Wishes Come True for Small Businesses
During the month of December, Intuit granted 15 big wishes to 15 deserving small businesses. Although the Small Business Big Wishes campaign has come to an end, check back soon for Intuit’s next program and perhaps your small business dream will become a reality in 2013.