Media Releases

November 28, 2018

Westdale Cinema Group Hires Executive Director

Annette Paiement to head up The Westdale’s cultural programming and operations

The Board of the Westdale Cinema Group has finalized a contract with Hamilton resident, Annette Paiement, who will be joining the organization as its first Executive Director, overseeing the operations and cultural programming of The Westdale, the 1935 theatre the charitable organization has restored since acquiring it in June, 2016.

Annette is well known in the Hamilton arts community through her work with the Art Gallery of Hamilton, including a leading role with its annual World Film Festival, The Cotton Factory on Sherman Avenue, Arts-Fest Waterdown, and Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. During her tenure as Executive Director of the HAC,

Annette spearheaded such programming initiatives like the Art Bus Adventures, the Cotton Factory Artist Residency Program, the European Artist Exchange, the Young & Emerging Artist Exhibition and the 4th Annual Hamilton Arts Week in June 2018. “Annette brings a proven expertise in arts and cultural management that really impressed the Board. It was a unanimous decision to offer the job to her,” says WCG Board Chair and Dundas resident, Fred Fuchs. “She demonstrated a real understanding of our vision for The Westdale as a community cultural hub,” he added.

Annette says jobs like this one don’t often come up in Hamilton. “Becoming the first Executive Director of a brand new cultural institution is a rare privilege. It’s one that I am thrilled to take on. The Westdale has so much to offer residents of Hamilton. I think Hamiltonians will be very proud of the place so many of them, through their donations and work, helped to save. I look forward to bringing new and exciting programming to the theatre.”

Reporting to the Board, Annette will assume responsibility for the overall operations of The Westdale, including guiding its cultural programming that will include a mix of film, talks, music, performance and special events. While the emphasis will still be on film, The Westdale will also showcase a wide variety of cultural and community programming.

The restored, and now fully accessible, theatre will open in the first quarter of 2019 and will feature state-of-the-art sound, projection and lighting equipment, along with new seats, an accessible washroom lounge, and new washrooms.

“We’ve kept the beauty and elegance of the original theatre and modernized all of its services. There is no other place like it in Hamilton. Hamiltonians will be very proud of their new theatre. We’re absolutely thrilled to be adding an exciting new cultural space to an already flourishing arts scene,” adds Board Chair Fred Fuchs.

For additional information please contact Graham Crawford

September 22 2018

Westdale Theatre Launches ‘Best Seat In The House’ Campaign

Campaign asks Hamiltonians to dedicate a new seat in restored theatre

As the restoration of the Westdale Theatre continues, the Westdale Cinema Group, the volunteer group responsi-ble for the project, has launched a ‘Best Seat In The House’ Campaign. The campaign focuses on asking Hamilto-nians to dedicate one, or more, of the theatre’s 350 new seats being installed in the fully restored auditorium later this year. In fact, the seat used in the campaign photoshoot is the actual seat that has been selected for the the-atre.

“We’ve already had 300 of the seats dedicated by individuals, families and groups. There are so many wonderful stories,” says Graham Crawford, a Board member and volunteer. “I’ve already done mine,” he adds.

Included in those stories is one featuring a group of 7 young people all of whom worked at the theatre 10-15 years ago when a Mr. Davies was the theatre manager. “He was such a wonderful person,” says Leeza Khayutin, who organized the dedication. “We all worked for him when we were going to school. For some of us, he became a bit of a father figure. We continued to stay in touch with him after we all moved on to our various careers. We just thought it would make him so proud to have his name associated with the restored theatre.”

Another dedication was made by Hamilton-based, national media pundit and communication consultant Laura Babcock. Laura loved the project so much she decided to use the seat dedication project as Christmas gifts to her and her husband Rob’s extended families. What that translated into was an entire row of 17 seats. “I love this project. We can’t wait to have a big family gathering at the theatre ,” says Babcock.

Of the 350 new seats that will replace the admittedly tired and uncomfortable 475 seats that were in place when the theatre closed last year, 300 have already been dedicated. Dedication involves sponsoring a seat and having a special naming plaque recessed onto the armrest of each seat with the name chosen by the person dedicating the seat. In some cases, people use their own name, in other cases, the name of a loved one.

For example, Ryan Moran, who has been coming to the theatre since he was 5 years old, dedicated two seats, one in his own name, and the other in his parent’s names. Moran says, “The Westdale Theatre has always been part of my life. I absolutely love movies and I love history. I’m so pleased to be able to dedicate two seats.”

The Westdale Cinema Group, the charitable organization behind the restoration, hopes to have all 350 seats dedi-cated in time for the grand re-opening, scheduled for this winter. “We’re planning some exciting film and non-film cultural programming to celebrate the grand opening of the fully restored Westdale Theatre,” says Crawford.

Seats can be dedicated by visiting the theatre’s website at


For additional information please contact Graham Crawford

Media Coverage

Westdale Theatre for Sale
January 12, 2017
The Silhouette

Westdale Theatre: A fight to save a ‘sacred space’
January 19, 2017
Hamilton Spectator

Offer accepted to buy Hamilton’s Westdale Theatre
February 10, 2017
CBC Hamilton

Westdale Theatre Sale
February 15, 2017
Cable 14 – City Matters

Westdale Theatre bought by non-profit group
February 17, 2017

Dundasians driving effort to restore, protect Westdale Theatre
February 24, 2017
Hamilton News

Mahoney: Hurray for Hollyw…uh, Hamilton! And the Westdale Theatre
February 27, 2017
Hamilton Spectator

Vital Signs – Westdale Cinema Group
March, 2017
Cable 14 – Vital Signs

Hamilton embraces ‘urban barn raising’ for Westdale Theatre renos
March 5, 2017
Hamilton Spectator

What’s the Plan for the Westdale Theatre
March 6, 2017
AM900 Bill Kelly Show

Westdale Theatre: The Sequel
March 10, 2017

Plans for Revitalizing the Westdale Theatre
June 19, 2017
Cable 14 – City Matts