FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE-- A panoramic of the construction site of the new Columbia Centre.  Photo by Ruth Fast/Setting Sun Photography

FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE–A panoramic of the construction site of the new Columbia Centre.Photo by Ruth Fast/Setting Sun Photography

As the construction of the Columbia Valley Centre moves forward, so do the donor opportunities and campaigns to get involved in the project. The Columbia Valley Fundraising Committee is rolling out the Buy A Seat Campaign where donors have the opportunity to purchase a seat that will be in the new centre.

Right now we’re just trying to raise money for the seating and were selling them off at $1,000 a seat and that will get your name or company name on a little metal template put on the seat that will be there for the lifetime of the seat, said fundraising committee chair Justin Atterbury

With the funds needed to construct the centre secured, the fundraising committee is now fundraising for items to make the space more functional. The Buy a Seat Campaign is part of the fundraising for soft cost items that user groups of the new centre have requested to be included.

So right now we’re looking at $744,000 still (needed). That includes the audio video equipment and projection screen, retractable seating, a moveable partition and kitchen equipment, said Mr. Atterbury.

The Columbia Valley Fundraising Committee has been working together for the past 18 months developing various campaigns for the new centre. With the slogan for the community centre project as The place where community comes together, Mr. Atterbury said that people will start to see more of what they’ve been developing.

Before there was actually earth-moving, a lot of people were still skeptical that it was actually going to happen. Now that theyve seen construction, we’ve got a lot more interest from people who want to know how they can participate and now we’re just providing those opportunities, he said.

The committee has also put together bookmarks, which are available throughout the summer at the Invermere Farmers and Artists Market, to provide the public with more information on donation opportunities.

The retractable seating chosen for the centre includes 228 seats that donors can get their names on with the purchase of the seat. With each seat available for a $1,000 donation, all donors will receive a tax receipt for their contribution to the campaign. Donations to the Buy a Seat campaign can be made online at or donations can be made over the phone to the district office.