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

SAR leads helicopter Family Day rescue to retrieve injured climber

Pilot had to hover over waterfall as rescue team lifted two people to safety

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

Canadian Snowbirds may return to Terrace after 20 years

Terrace would kick off three B.C. Snowbird performances in 2020 if approved

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

City of Terrace reacts to $8 million provincial infrastructure grant

This is the largest grant ever received by the city, mayor says

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

Most Read