The City of Lethbridge celebrated the completion of the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre renovation project today with project funders and stakeholders.
A public celebration including backstage tours is planned for Friday, September 27 to coincide with the Allied Arts Council's Art Days.
The Yates renovation project which began in 2016 was largely completed last fall when the performance space and ticket centre re-opened to the public. Since then, additional backstage amenities as well as modifications to the Sterndale Bennett Theatre have been finished, bringing the project to completion.
"The upgrades to both the Yates and Sterndale Bennett Theatre have added new opportunities and enhanced performing arts in our community." says Lethbridge Mayor, Chris Spearman. "Since the building reopened to the public, we've had overwhelmingly positive feedback from both audiences and performers on the improvements."
The Yates renovation project has improved performance capabilities, enhanced audience experience and created a more accessible facility. The work includes upgraded mechanical and electrical systems, a fire sprinkler system, performance audio/visual systems, acoustic treatments, upgraded finishes like paint, flooring and ceilings, catwalk relocation, dressing room revisions, seating replacements, roof replacement, barrier-free washroom upgrades, the addition of elevators, signage and a concrete floor under the auditorium.
In November 2016, City Council approved advancing improvements to the Yates after receiving $3.5 million from the Federal Government's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding allowed for work that was already planned to be done more quickly, including changes to make the facility more accessible.
"Our government is committed to supporting infrastructure projects that provide artists with quality equipment and safe spaces to showcase their work," said the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. "This investment in the Genevieve E. Yates Theatre reinforces the value of the arts and culture for residents and visitors to Lethbridge."
The total renovation budget was $13.96 million with $4.21 million coming from the City of Lethbridge and an additional $6.25 million from the provincial government's Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant.
For more information on this project visit www.lethbridge.ca/yatesrenos.
Tara Grindle, Communications Consultant
City of Lethbridge