Black Box Backdrop: Double the Meetings, Double the Fun

Exterior of KWLT Theatre

Well, we had our August board meeting and boy was it a doozy! We ended up splitting the meeting into two parts over two days so that we had time to discuss everything. Here’s what happened:

  • We appointed a slate of non-board officers! You can see the full list on the Board & Officers page on the website.
  • We decided to buy ad space in the Rainbow Spaces Directory, a new quarterly publication by Spectrum.
  • We decided to allow our upcoming radio play, The Devil’s Disciple, to rehearse in-person in our theatre space or Gaukel rehearsal space, providing COVID restrictions are followed.
  • We had a lengthy discussion about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the actions we would like to take as a board. 
    • Several board members presented ideas on different initiatives we could undertake (e.g. workshops, creating a DEI committee or officer role), though the board did not decide to undertake any specific activities yet. We decided to task a sub-committee of the board to create more specific plans and bring them back for approval.
    • The board made a commitment to taking action to foster greater diversity (including, but not limited to, race, age, gender identity/expression, ability, and social identity) in our volunteer base, membership, and audiences. 
  • A motion was presented: “The Board of Directors at the Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre and KWLT as a whole, affirms that we value: Freedom of thought; freedom of conscience; freedom of expression; and the rights of the minority view”
    • The board discussed this motion in closed session (i.e. the minutes are not available for non-board members).
    • The board decided to postpone this motion indefinitely (i.e. the board did not vote for or against the motion).
  • We approved a COVID safety plan and several screening forms for our spaces. We’re working on cleaning up the document and it will be available to read soon. Our plan was based on templates provided by the Region of Waterloo. Some key points in the safety plan:
    • The Box Office Manager (currently Nadia Ursacki) has been charged with most of the administration duties (e.g. keeping track of the screening forms).
    • Volunteers  working in our space must fill out the screening form on each visit. Renters must screen and provide visitor logs to the KWLT Rentals Manager. Guests/audience members will be prompted with the screening questions by an usher and will be required to provide information for contact tracing.
    • Any productions, KWLT or renter, must attempt to limit congregation at all times. For this purpose, our concessions booth will remain closed. (Shows are still allowed to have intermissions, but they must manage intermission so as to limit congregation of guests.)
    • Performers must be 2m from audience members at all times.
    • Masks will be required for audience members and volunteers during productions, except for on-stage performers, who may be maskless while they perform.
    • Everyone in the building must wear a mask/face covering at all times on the premises, except for break times while eating or drinking or when physically distanced from others (on consent of all present).
  • We also empowered the COVID committee to make adjustments to the plan as warranted, with changes to be ratified at the next board meeting. This will allow us to be flexible as regulations change.
  • We discussed an action arising from a Risk Assessment Survey that our insurance providers conducted – our electrical panel had some open slots that were not properly covered with filler plates. This was completed by Matt Walsh and our insurance provider was satisfied.
  • We discussed a grant available from the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. We decided to apply for it to cover costs for marketing for our (eventual) re-opening extravaganza.
  • A community member reached out to suggest that the theatre was ideally located to participate in the 519 Community Collective Pantry project. Nobody had reached out to the project yet, but our understanding was that we would basically allow the project to build and maintain a community pantry on our property. We decided that we’d like to participate, and Matt Walsh volunteered to reach out to the project and manage that.
    • Additionally, we had the idea of putting up a “Free Little Library” with some of our plays that live on shelves in the lobby. We decided to bring this idea to our 2 new Librarian officers to discuss.
  • Capacity Canada, a local charity focused on supporting non-profit organizations and boards, is currently offering online courses in board governance. A number of board members were potentially interested in the training, and our Vice President (Lenore Brooks) agreed to look around to see if any grants would be available that could cover the costs of this training.
  • There were a number of shout-outs:
    • To Matt from Nicole for handling the Risk Assessment Survey and the resulting action
    • To Carolyn from Nicole for handling some paperwork from our bank while Nicole was away
    • To the board from Carolyn for taking the time to meet with her 1:1
    • To the Show Control Committee from Matt for their hard work on the booth
    • To Katrina Howald from Matt for helping with some clean-up efforts in the theatre
  • We booked our next meeting for September 27th, and picked the 4th Mondays of months as a recurring date.
  • Our Artistic Director, Colleen Daley, is starting to put together plans for our next season. 
    • She’s roughly planning to start staging productions in early 2022. She intends to bring a planned schedule to the September board meeting. 
    • She is also planning to form an Artistic Steering committee with volunteers from the membership to share the job of soliciting and choosing applications for the future. Her intention here is to make the AD role less work for a single person, and also give people an idea of what the role is like without having to commit fully to it. Members will work with the Artistic Director to define and identify opportunities that align with the theater’s artistic vision, as well as soliciting and selecting productions for the upcoming and future seasons. If you are interested in joining this committee, please email Colleen at
    • A small board committee was formed to start re-opening plans.

Active Committees

Here’s the status of our currently active committees. If you are interested in joining/starting a committee or would like to provide input, please email

Show Control Committee

Most of the construction is complete; they are just waiting for some orders to arrive so tech can be installed. WIth these changes, our storage space is reduced, so they’re considering doing a yard sale of some sort to help get rid of some of our extra stuff.

Lobby Renewal Committee

No new updates from the Lobby Renewal Committee.

Communications Role Committee

A handful of volunteers reached out to express interest in helping with some of Communications. These people plus the board members who formed the original committee will be meeting on August 31st to meet each other and start talking about how the workload can be shared.

COVID Safety Policy Committee

The committee presented the COVID safety plan to the board, which was approved. Their next task is to ensure that we are in compliance with what we said we’d do (e.g. adding screening signage). We also asked that they create some FAQ or similarly easy-to-ready documents for volunteers, since the plan itself is fairly dense.

Board DEI Committee (short-term)

This is a brand new committee. The intention of this committee is to be short-term and simply create a plan to be approved by the board. In particular, this committee was tasked with forming goals around diversity and starting to survey our membership to understand what our demographics actually are right now, since we do not have this information easily accessible. This committee is also tasked with defining how the membership will be involved in the plan and conversations.

Board Re-Opening Committee

This is a brand new committee. The intention of this committee is to start creating plans for re-opening. This committee is a little nebulous in mandate at the moment, but once there is a clearer picture of the goals of the committee, I’ll share that.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at If you are interested in attending a board meeting (next one is September 27th), you can always reach out to to get an invite!

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