A local arts organization has been left shocked and saddened by a recent theft that could have major implications for other arts groups in the city.
Over $5,000 worth of equipment was taken from Theatre SKAM’s Satellite Studio location at 849 Fort Street. The items were taken sometime between the dates of January 14th and 16th, just days after the company celebrated its 25th anniversary.
“You really get the highs and lows in theatre,” Matthew Payne, Theatre SKAM’s Artistic and Managing producer, told Victoria Buzz over the phone.
The culprits — it is unknown at this item if one or more people were involved — took a lighting control board, a projector, a wireless transmitter, and other electrical and cable accessories used in theatrical production.
Theatre SKAM’s Satellite Studio provides space for multiple community and professional arts organizations, like Dance Victoria, Story Theatre, and numerous productions for university students, independent musicians, theatricians, and visual artists.
The loss of equipment jeopardizes the space for everybody, said Payne.
“Performance and rehearsal space is already at a premium in Victoria,” Payne told Victoria Buzz. “We offer this space at a deeply discounted rate to help independent artists and organizations find space to create work. This theft doesn’t just hurt us, it hurts the community.”
In the meantime, Payne said he and his team are working with the media, police, and their insurance company to try and recover what has gone. They have about a week until the studio is next being used for a production, but the theft is taking its toll already.
“The gear is worth just over $5,200, and then there’s all the time it takes, for the whole team to respond,” Payne said. “It’s a small crisis.”
Theatre SKAM is requesting that anyone with information about the theft contact VicPD and reference file #VCI20-2439. Those wishing to donate for the recovery and replacement of this equipment may do so online through Canada Helps or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.