Monday, March 18, 2024

With 167,000 dollars in support, Province of BC takes a few seats at the Lester Centre

The Lester Centre of the Arts has an additional 167,000 dollars to put to use this week, that following last Friday's announcement that the Province of BC is taking a seat, more than a few actually, at the city's Arts and Culture Centre.

As part of the BC Arts Council's, 'Arts infrastructure Program' the funding will be used towards the acquisition of new theatre seats through the Lester Centre's "Please Be Seated' Project.

Crystal Lorette, President of the Prince Rupert Performing Arts Centre Society expressed her appreciation for the funding as part of the Friday announcement.

“We’re over-joyed with this funding from the provincial government, which will help us with this important renovation project. We’re grateful that the province has recognized the importance of arts and culture organizations to the communities they serve.”

The importance of the Lester Centre to the region was the focus for North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice how noted of the benefit it brings the community.

“The Lester Centre’s successful outreach to the ‘Arts Infrastructure Program’ is contributing a great benefit to Prince Rupert.The theatre is an incredible asset, and this support means continuing maintenance to make sure we have a beautiful place to gather, attract entertaining shows, and make memories. I look forward to settling into a new seat and appreciating a show with my family once the project is complete.”

The provincial funding from Friday, is in addition to federal government funding of $85,000 last year for the project through its Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. 

Locally, residents and supporters of the Lester Centre have made donations of over $35,000 as part of the Please Be Seated campaign.

The volume of support for the initiative was hailed by Lester Centre General Manager Chris Armstrong.

“This tremendous support brings our project one step closer to reality,. The Province, like the federal government and local donors, has shown that they understand how facilities like ours provide a sense of connectedness for the community through live entertainment. And with this funding, we will ensure that happens for many more years into the future.”

More background on the Please Be Seated program can be explored here.

A wider overview of Arts in the Northwest is available from our archive page.

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