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Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Theatre and Sterndale Bennett Theatre Renewal (D-8)

Project Status Completed
Project Type Recreation & Culture
Timeline 2017 - start construction
2018 - performances resumed
2019 - substantial completion
Budget (sources) $14,110,000.00
Expenditures to Date $13,970,420.00
Budget Status On Budget

About the Project

The Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre was constructed in 1966 and has served as the home of the Lethbridge Musical Theatre, New West Theatre, school performances and dance festivals for many years.  

In 1990, the 180 seat Sterndale Bennett Theatre was added to the facility as a rehearsal space; however, this area is also used for performances.

Before the upgrade, which began in 2017, most of the electrical and mechanical systems were still original.  The layout of the building was very challenging as some of the spaces did not meet functional requirements.  In addition, the washroom spaces did not meet current code requirements. The project included upgrades and renovations to both the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre and the Sterndale Bennett Theatre.

Project Updates:


September 2019

Upgrades and renovations that were completed include the following:

  • mechanical and electrical systems throughout along with site services and communication systems
  • installation of a fire sprinkler system
  • performance audio/visual systems
  • acoustic treatments
  • barrier-free washrooms
  • addition of elevators
  • upgraded finishes (e.g., walls, flooring, ceilings)
  • concrete floor addition underneath auditorium
  • catwalk relocation
  • dressing room revisions
  • seating replacements
  • roofing replacements
  • signage

September 2018

The theatre space is nearing completion and the finishing work in the public spaces is in full swing.

  • September 10 - The Ticket Centre will re-open with general hours Monday - Friday from 10 am to  5 pm.
  • September 12 - The first scheduled show for the renovated Yates is planned.
  • September 17 - City Council voted to amend the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget to increase the City's funding of the project from $3.65 million to 4.21 million. 

June 2018 

The renovation of the Yates Theatre is now at the drywall stage and it is exciting to see things being put back together. The Yates Theatre and ticket center are scheduled to re-open in September 2018 and the Sterndale Bennett Theatre is scheduled to be complete in December, 2018.

May 2018

A series of changes to the mechanical work required at the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre, along with a supply shortage of specialized construction material, will further delay the re-opening of the theatre. The facility, which was scheduled to reopen in mid-July, is now estimated to open in September, 2018. 

March 2018

​If the construction outside the Yates Theatre has you curious about the upcoming renovations, then plan to attend the City's Yates Renovation Update. City of Lethbridge staff will be joined by Songer Architecture Inc. to share design concepts and answer questions from the public about the redevelopment of the Yates and Sterndale Bennett Theatres.

Yates Renovation Update
City Hall Foyer | March 13, 2018
Drop-in | 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

January 2018

The latest update from the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre renovation has the project on budget; however, extensive remediation of old building material will extend the construction timelines. 

The theatre, which was originally slated to reopen in the spring, is now anticipated to open in July 2018. Like many buildings of this era, some material contains asbestos and requires specialized removal processes to ensure safety and adherence to environmental requirements.

September 2017

As the last of the summer performances wrap up at the Genevieve Yates Memorial Centre, the doors will close for several month to complete exciting theatre upgrades.

As of Tuesday, September 5, that facility will no longer be accessible to the public. Site renovations have been ongoing for several months, working around the still-operational theatre space. The site now requires a complete closure for construction work in the theatre spaces.



​Grant - Canada Cultural Spaces Fund​$3,500,000​Consulting and Construction Services
​Grant - Municipal Sustainability (MSI)​$6,250,000​Consulting and Construction Services
​Operating Budget​$4,060​Other
​PAYG - Community​$300,000​Other


Contact Information

Rob Villeneuve, Facility Services
Project Manager