Brief History


The Performing Arts Centre Advocacy Group is working to gather increased community support for the Performing Arts Centre. The Next Stage Initiative was launched in April, and the Advocacy Group is in the community, at various events, developing community support.


A group of community members was formed and initiated a strategy to build increased community support for a new Performing Arts Centre in Lethbridge.


The AAC Board of Directors has resolved that the AAC will take a leadership role in building and supporting a larger committee to generate funds for a Performing Arts Centre and will continue to build support in the community, engaging and aligning stakeholders and expressing the need for a new Performing Arts Centre to the community at large.

A stakeholder’s update was held on June 24, 2014.  It was clear from this meeting that although there is much enthusiasm for building a new Performing Arts Centre there is still work to be done to build stakeholder alignment for the project.  The committee also developed a communication plan with timelines and assembled a committee of community individuals who are working on fund development strategies.


City Council committed $10 million dollars towards the Performing Arts Centre Project on the following Conditions:

  • The balance of the costs of approximately $50 million come from other sources, whether it be, provincial government, federal government, or any other source not identified;
  • The Provincial component, if any, will not come from the present Municipal Sustainability Initiative Grant (MSI), for clarity, the provincial contribution, if any, is required to be “new” money;
  • The City of Lethbridge’s conditional commitment of $10.0 Million be for the 2018-2027 Capital Improvement Program Budget Plan;
  • The funding source of $10 million City of Lethbridge contribution is to be identified once all other funds are in place.


After the original study was presented to the City in the spring of 2010, City Council requested the Performing Arts Centre Steering committee to do a review of the study and its recommendations, as well as to come up with some funding ideas.  Richard Schick, of Schick Shiner Associates who undertook the Performing Arts Centre Study Review over the spring/summer of 2011, presented on Monday October 20, 2011 along with the Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee.


In the spring of 2009, the City of Lethbridge assembled a Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee (comprised of community volunteers) to oversee a needs assessment and master planning process for a possible Performing Arts Centre.

The Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee selected the local firm of Ferrari Westwood Babits Architects (FWBA). FWBA assembled a consulting team with an international reputation comprised of Theatre Projects Consultants (TPC), Webb Management Services, Inc. and Threshold Acoustics LLC. FWBA managed the planning process, and together the team created a Schematic Design.

In the month of November 2009, the team met and interviewed over 100 individuals, which included a cross-section of representatives of regional arts and culture organizations, facility managers, educators, funders, local business owners, and City leadership/personnel. During this time they also toured existing facilities, researched other venues located within the local market, and studied the existing arts audiences and population trends. The analysis of this information will be the basis of the needs assessment.


In 2007, the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge initiated the Arts Re:Building Together initiative in hopes of improving the state of the arts facilities for the present and for the future. The AAC worked with the arts community to advocate the value of a cultural corridor and actively pursued keeping the construction of the performing arts centre in the City of Lethbridge’s capital improvement plan.


The City completed a comprehensive facility assessment study that indicated that many of the existing facilities were no longer serving the needs of the community. As a result of this study, the City began the process of investing Capital Improvement money to upgrade and expand the community facilities.