Here are some quick facts about the current state of Performing Arts Venues in Lethbridge:
An inventory of traditional performance venues indicates that Lethbridge has a total capacity of less than 1000 seats, and.013 seats per capita. These numbers are significantly lower than all other comparable markets. Medicine Hat and Red Deer both have .022 seats per capita.
There are no dedicated performing arts venues in Lethbridge that are larger than 500 seats and only the University Theatre has a fly system. A fly system has ropes, pulleys, counterweights and related devices that enable a stage crew to quickly, quietly and safely fly (hoist) components such as curtains, lights, scenery, stage effects and sometimes, people.
Current performing arts facilities in Lethbridge are only adequate in quality, but are very busy. Problems with capacity, acoustics, functionality and availability are all limiting growth and development of the local arts community.
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.
The Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre has long been the City’s premier performing arts facility used by many groups, but technical deficiencies, size and booking availability have begun to limit opportunities for programming and performance.
Analysis suggests that there is a lack of high-quality performance arts facilities serving the region. Many groups are using churches, schools and bars, which generally lack audience amenities such as ticketing, adequate washrooms, comfortable seating, and theatrical functionality such as wing space.
An invigorated cultural community could provide more reasons for university students to settle in Lethbridge, post-graduation and thereby increase the cultural capital in the area.
Studies have shown, that 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.