President Bob Janes welcomed guests, Mark Hill (Yukon Rotary Club), Robyn Kemp (who will become our newest member), Nick and Kayler Larson, and our speakers Andrea Noble and Bruce Halliday.
O Canada was particularly fitting this week. It was sung slowly and with great feeling by Don Amero in honor of the 215 aboriginal children whose bodies were recently discovered at the residential school site in Kamloops.


David Woodward inspiration was sparked by the Kamloops discovery, the family of murder Muslims in Ontario, and the rise in right-wing hate crimes in general. David noted June 6 was the anniversary of the D-Day Normandy landings that heralded the end of tyranny and the start of a return to democracy.
In the great rebuilding that followed, seventy Rotary District Governors formed an international network to support the work of the UN in rebuilding democracy, advocating for human rights and raising living standards. The Rotary Club of Nanaimo continues the work that those original 70 started by helping to improve lives in our community and worldwide. 



President Bob thanked all those members who attended the virtual District Conference the previous week. He found it a great experience with several excellent speakers.
Keith McFarlane spoke about plans for Installation on Friday, June 18, starting at 5:30 p.m. Provided that Dr. Bonnie Henry decides on June 15 to move to the next phase of (reduced) COVID restrictions, the installation will be at the Golf Club and our first in-person meeting in many months. Social distancing and masks must be worn at all times, except when sitting at one’s assigned place. Keith said that mingling would not be allowed. There will be a buffet meal at a cost of $40 per head. Those attending would be required to sign a health check in advance.
At the beginning of this Rotary year President Bob challenged the social committee to put on a social event every third Friday. They succeeded throughout lockdown! Dawn Hankins, the social committee chair, gave a happy slide presentation recalling the different social events throughout the year. 
Joyce Smith reported on the Club’s Cross Canada Journey. All was going well and the journey would be wrapped up on June 25 when incoming RI president-elect Jennifer Jones was expected to drop in on our meeting.
Denise Wittkofski said she had been contacted by Rotary HQ as they were planning to make a video about the mural project at Eden Gardens.

New Member Induction

Leslie Sundby introduced Robyn Kemp, a social justice advocate with the School District and Board member of KIDS (Kids International Development Society), a locally based charity dedicated to bettering the lives of children and families in Cambodia and Myanmar.
Janeane Coutu performed the induction and welcomed Robyn as Rotary’s newest member. She advised Robyn to speak up, get involved with the work of committees and make friends in the Club.
Robyn thanked Leslie and Janeane and said she was hoping to find ways to contribute to the community through Rotary.  


Mila Skeeles introduced Bruce Halliday, General Manager, and Andrea Noble, Marketing and Community Outreach, from the Port Theatre. They spoke about the impact of Covid on the theatre and their recovery plans.
Andrea began with a little history. The Port theatre was opened in September 1998. She said it had a seating capacity of 800, all with unobstructed views of the stage.
In 2019 the theatre put on over 300 events and was attended by more than 121,000 people. Events ranged from touring international acts to local school groups. Some events were developed by the theatre and others were brought in.
During COVID they were forced to lay off temporary and part-time staff, but with the aid of the federal wage subsidy program were able to keep operating.
They live-streamed shows for families to watch at home and managed to keep the price very reasonable ($12). All the while keeping the theatre active and connected to the community.
Bruce said that while working on the process of recovery from Covid, he had taken a role regionally and nationally advocating for tourism, arts, culture and sports; all being related to the quality of life in the community.  They cancelled hundreds of events. At first, the Port Theatre was the only organization of its kind to give full refunds.
They have been planning from the beginning for how they will emerge from the pandemic. They think the recovery will take time as audiences may be reluctant to sit together and likely will be slow to return. He said that booking touring artists was expected to be difficult. Even in normal times, a tour takes many months to put together. So instead they had initiated the brand-new Discovery Series featuring emerging talents from Vancouver Island. Bruce closed by saying that they had survived the epidemic quite well and they were looking forward to the future. He responded to several questions in the limited time remaining.


Pre-COVID the theatre had proposed to raise funds to expand the facility. The grant application failed just as COVID arrived. They have about half a million dollars in capital reserve and the directors were shortly due to consider how best to use it. They still need expanded space.
Regarding the balance of programming during the recovery period, they don’t expect to return to 800 seat capacity until some time in 2022. For the time being, we should expect more local acts and more intimate shows.
The theater underwrote the NDSS production of Mama Mia and other similar events to ensure that they did not lose money. 
Wendy Pratt thanked the speakers for giving us their update and complimented them for helping to build a strong and vibrant community.


Wayne Anderson imposed a fine (in absentia) on John Hankins for not helping Dawn with the cooking.
President Bob promised $10 for the beautiful and sad rendering of O Canada.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Bev Vanidour is celebrating a birthday. Lucy and Yvan Gosselin are celebrating 37 years of wedded bliss.
Samantha Letourneau and Paul Manly are celebrating their 1 year anniversary with the club.