The Sagebrush and Pavilion Theatres will receive major upgrades over the summer thanks to $188,000 in funding provided by the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
The funding was announced at a press conference at Sagebrush Theatre Tuesday afternoon by Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, who was there on behalf of Minister of Heritage Mélanie Joly.
"As transportation minister, I spend a lot of time talking about the importance of modern and efficient transportation infrastructure as essential in building a strong economy and improving the quality of life in our citizens, but the exact same thing is true about cultural infrastructure and we have a very fine example of it here today," he says. "I don't need to tell you about the crucial role arts and culture play in supporting community development, enhancing quality of life and strengthening a city's competitive position in the creative economy."
Some of the funding has already been used, as the Sagebrush Theatre has put in new carpets and improved crash doors in their lobby. More improvements will be made over the summer with new aisle lighting, new flooring in the Pavilion lobby and on the second floor, updated washroom facilities, and replacement of the Sagebrush rigging systems that were from 1978.
"Western Canada Theatre is so thrilled to be able to complete the much-needed renovations to both the Sagebrush and Pavilion Theatres, essential renovations that our audiences will recognize when walking through our doors, as well as helping us ensure that our venues are safe, secure and up-to-date," says Evan Klassen, Western Canada Theatre's new managing director.
The upgrades are expected to be finished in time for the fall arts season.
In 2017, the federal government announced a $300-million fund over 10 years that would go toward supporting creative hubs and cultural spaces across the nation. Garneau made Tuesday's announcement on Joly's behalf, because he was in the area.
He'll be in Ashcroft today (May 16) to announce upgrades to the railway terminal.