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Fundraiser launched after fire devastates Kitsilano Showboat

Thousands have already been donated to the Kitsilano Showboat
The stage, along with other parts of the venue, at the Kitsilano Showboat were badly damaged in a fire on April 22, 2023.

A fire over the weekend at the Kitsilano Showboat badly damaged the iconic community stage.

Now the society that runs shows there is fundraising to stay afloat. Already the Kitsilano Showboat Society has raised more than $13,500 to cover losses incurred by the fire, though their goal is $50,000, according to a GoFundMe campaign page set up by society president Barry Leinbach.

"Your generous donation will go towards helping the Kitsilano Showboat Society recover our losses," states Leinbach on the GoFundMe page. "With your support, we can continue producing amazing performances and creating lifelong memories."

Leinbach goes on to note that because the 88-year-old venue is owned by the city's parks department it will be their decision on repairs.

The society usually runs events on the stage from June to August, though the pandemic put a pause on its 2020 and 2021 seasons. Performances returned in 2022 with a variety of cultural shows, including Polynesian dancers, Vancouver rock bands, and big-band jazz.

"So many community groups and entertainers depend on our stage to showcase their talents and organizations," writes Leinbach.

Many who have already donated have commented about fond memories at the venue and wished the society good luck with the repairs.

"It has been a tradition for the Peggy Peat Dancers to end the dance season performing at Showboat. It is always fun and exciting for everyone. Thank you and good luck," writes Margaret Derksen.

"Growing up in Kitsilano in the 60s and 70s, the Showboat is a fixture in my memory and an institution that should be preserved. I trust that the Parks Board sees the community love and support and supplies the funds needed," writes Robyn Kendall.

"Kitsilano Showboat has been an integral part of summer in Vancouver. I have some pretty amazing memories of dancing on that stage," writes Wendy Collins. "Let’s help get them back on the road to rebuilding."