The REM Lee Theatre’s worn and tired 40-year old seats will be replaced by the fall after the Theatre Alive Society was approved for a $200,000 grant from the federal government. (Nancy Stone Archer photo)

R.E.M. Lee Theatre approved for $200,000 federal grant for theatre upgrades

Terrace’s Theatre Alive Society has officially reached their $400,000 fundraising goal

The R.E.M Lee Theatre Alive Society received close to $200,000 from the federal government to put toward the theatre’s seating, lighting and soundboard upgrades, transforming the 40-year-old theatre into a state-of-the-art facility.

The investment through the government’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will allow the organization to renovate the R.E.M Lee Theatre into a modernized multidisciplinary cultural centre for theatre, dance, music and film.

The society received news they were approved in December, leading them to exceed their $400,000 goal by an extra $60,000.

READ MORE: REM Lee Theatre in need of repairs after 41-years

“We were all shell-shocked because our scope changes now,” says Nancy Stone Archer, R.E.M Lee Theatre coordinator and Theatre Alive Society secretary.

The society began fundraising to update the theatre three years ago and has raised more than $260,000 through community fundraisers and various grants, including $100,000 from the BC Rural Dividend fund and $35,000 from the Northern Development Initiative Trust for a new soundboard and LED lighting system.

With this grant, she says renovation work can start immediately, starting with the replacement of the theatre’s 40-year-old chairs.

“We can buy seats now — we have three sample seats arriving from shortlisted companies so we can see which ones we like and which ones are going to work in such a versatile place,” Stone Archer says, adding that the seats should be installed by the fall.

READ MORE: Q&A with Ian Bagg

Part of the work will include a plan to better stagger sightlines in the theatre, and a renovation to the front row, which will allow patrons with mobility issues better access to sit with their guests.

“Currently, I remove one bank of four seats and we ask that wheelchairs are placed there, which is not next to their family or with their people, so we would like to recraft the front row,” says Stone Archer.

With more modern technical equipment, Stone Archer says the upgrades should also attract more touring musicians and artists to Terrace.

The theatre itself is a Coast Mountain School District building, but because of budget constraints, there is usually no money left over to upgrade the theatre’s technical systems, seats or carpeting, Stone Archer says.

“It begins to look a bit tired, and it’s a very important place for the community of Terrace. It’s so exciting for Theatre Alive to spearhead this campaign on behalf of the theatre.”


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Theatre Alive Society received one seat sample last week, with two more expected later this week. (Nancy Stone Archer photo)

Just Posted

Rene Fagan manslaughter case adjourned

Accused to meet with counsel before next date

Murder trial pushed back to September

In-depth psychological assessment of accused was ordered during pre-trial

Canada’s first all-women Taiko group leads drumming workshop in Terrace

Sawagi Taiko was founded during the women’s movement

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Building a better learning environment for B.C. students

Minister’s message for Education Week, April 23-27

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Most Read