Since opening its doors in 1988, the Station Arts Centre, a charitable organization, has had as its primary objective to promote arts and culture by presenting live theatre, music, literary arts, dance, visual arts and arts workshops in all disciplines. Its mandate is to support local, regional and Canadian artists, both emerging and professional. For theatrical programming, its mandate is to produce Saskatchewan/Canada-based shows that bring to life themes, stories and experiences that are relevant to our small, rural, prairie communities. The Station Arts Centre also promotes heritage and historic preservation through renovation and maintenance of the historic Rosthern CN station, built in 1902. In 2009, The Station Arts Centre underwent a major renovation. It now boasts a state-ofthe- art, 160-seat theatre and an expanded foyer and art gallery.
The Station Arts Centre Cooperative Endowment Fund was created to meet the need for future development and sustenance of the Station Arts Centre. It also became more and more apparent that the Station Arts Centre needed to diversify its income stream in order to remain viable both for maintenance of its ongoing programs and for sponsorship and grant application purposes. The board of the Station Arts Centre and the staff began discussion of an endowment fund in 2009. A brochure was developed and fundraising began with direct appeals to local supporters of the Station Arts Centre. Approximately $33,000 was raised by November 2010, in time to meet a matching grant deadline for the Endowment Incentives component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund.
The Station Arts Centre has become a cultural centre in the Saskatchewan Valley area. Since its mandate is to maintain and grow the arts in the area, and since such an endeavour understandably requires donor and grant support, the development of these options must be an ongoing priority. Although annual appeals will be made to theatre attendees, the Station Arts Centre Cooperative Endowment Fund focuses on seeking larger gifts from donors who prefer to contribute to perpetual support of the Centre as opposed to day-to-day operations. The Fund provides an incentive for support that wasn’t available before. Arts organizations by their nature live tenuous lives and are subject to economic and political change. The Station Arts Centre felt that it was important to demonstrate that it has done what it could to build a foundation that inspires confidence. They hope that the fund will have a great impact in sustaining the grass roots nature of live professional performance in the heart of the Prairies.