Community theatre project raises $7,000 for Avalanche Canada

Most home construction companies don’t own their own movie theatres. But Cardel Homes does, often renting it out to various charities.

Cardel Homes is a construction company with locations in Calgary, Ottawa, Tampa and Denver. They also specialize in home renovations and designs, as well as offering financial advising.

But the company also supports local initiatives and charities through community involvement and donations. According to Cardel’s Calgary office and theatre manager, Chris Cassady, that’s because, “The CEO, Ryan Ockey and his brother Damain Ockey, president of marketing, are both big believers in giving back to the community.”

In Calgary that took form in building “a community theatre that could be a give back to the groups around, especially places that can’t afford to have their meetings in downtown buildings and things like that,” says Cassady.

In 2013, 33,000 guests came to use the theatre, raising over $31,000 for local charities. The theatre also collects non-perishable food donations, last year donating 9,900 kilograms of food to local food shelters.The Cardel Homes Theatre hosts several events each year, with many hosted by charities that can’t afford other venue rentals.

Photo by Hannah Willinger

Cardel Homes in Calgary achieves this by hosting events at their theatre, such as Days Of My Youth — a documentary that screened there in November. It focuses on the lives on skiers and their journeys through their youth told through the sport of freestyle skiing and back country.

The theatre holds approximately 150 people and was packed for the event. James Heim, a professional athlete who starred in the film, was present along with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures.

Avalanche Canada was the foundation chosen by Cardel Homes to receive the benefits of the Days Of My Youth event. All the proceeds went to Avalanche Canada’s general operations for forecasting programs for snow falls and avalanche warnings, which are essential for many skiers who backcountry regularly or are first timers.

$7,000 was raised for Avalanche Canada, close to the goal of $8,000.

Dale Bayley, the chief development director officer at Avalanche Canada says, “We are way under in funding from industry and individuals. We are operating at $1.8 million per year. We need to be at $3.2 million.”

“The biggest area of cost is the public [avalanche] forecasts,” he continued.

“It’s not completely covered by anybody, governments, industry or individuals and that’s one of our gaps in funding. That’s the area it will probably go to because that’s the area that we cannot let down since we are mandated by government.”

Upcoming events include Hang With The Hitmen 2014-2015, Quarry Park & Polish and Be A Hero Golf Classic — and many more.

hwillinger@cjournal.ca