Timeline and Facts About the Performing Arts Centre Project

Do you support a Performing Arts Centre but would like to know some more about the history of the project? Need some quick facts about why Lethbridge needs this facility?

Download the PAC Timeline here

Quick PAC Facts

We’re building for the future! In 2019 the population of the City of Lethbridge reached 100,000 and it is estimated that this number will reach 157,754 by the year 2052. Our current performing arts facilities are at capacity and unable to accommodate for this growth, therefore a new performing arts centre is not just for the artists and community of today, but for the artists and community of tomorrow.

In a 2014 there were 964 self-identified artists, arts-organizations and businesses producing arts events within the city. In that same year, Lethbridge artists and arts organizations contributed over $10 million to our local economy, and over $20 million to the Alberta economy. Investing in the arts is essential for a diverse economy and culturally rich communities.

The City of Lethbridge’s Recreation & Cultural Master Plan “Amenity Investment Prioritization Ranking” lists a Performing Arts space as the second highest of 24 indoor recreation and culture amenity priorities, prioritizing this type of facility above all indoor recreation facilities. (Including ice arena facilities, which rank seventh on the list).

There are no dedicated performing arts venues in Lethbridge that are larger than 500 seats and only the University Theatre has a fly system: ropes, pulleys, counterweights and related devises that enable a stage crew to quickly, quietly and safely hoist fly components such as curtains, lights, scenery, stage effects and sometimes, people.

An inventory of traditional performance venues indicates that Lethbridge has a total capacity of less than 1000 seats, and .013 seats per capita. Medicine Hat and Red Deer both have .022 seats per capita. Compared to other similarly sized cities, Lethbridge is under-served by the current set of performing arts facilities both in terms of spaces for local groups and for touring programs.

A vibrant cultural community attracts employees and professionals who want to live and work in a stimulating and enriching environment, enhancing the workforce and productivity of existing businesses and industries. As well, a vibrant community provides more reasons for university students to settle in Lethbridge, post-graduation and thereby increase the cultural capital in the area.

The usage of the Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre is generally at capacity and the majority of those able to use the space are primary facility users. The Yates cannot accommodate any new programming from within our community, or from outside of the city. Because of this, many groups use churches, schools and bars, which lack ticketing, comfortable seating and theatrical functionality such as a fly or wing space.