Recreation & Culture Master Plan

The Master Plan’s “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.)

You can read the full Recreation and Culture Master Plan here:

CIP Deliberations and Site Selection

Thank you to all those who participated in the CIP Online Budget Allocator. Your voice will be heard. But we need to keep awareness of this project front and center until CIP deliberations are finished.

We would like to provide an update as Council enters CIP deliberations May 10 – 14, 2021.

On April 28, 2021 presentations were made to the Economic Standing Policy Committee. This was the last cultural facility presentation to City Council before the CIP. At this meeting, Councillor Jeff Carlson gave an update on the Steering Committee work and presented their recommendation to designate the Civic Common as the site for the new Performing Arts Centre. Dianne King gave a presentation on the 20-year history/background of the PAC project, the studies indicating community support, and the value of this project to the community. 

The site recommendation, as well as, keeping the PAC in the next 10 year CIP cycle were deferred to the CIP discussions taking place May 10 – 14, 2021 for future development. Also, deferred to the CIP debate was a Comprehensive Site Plan process for the Civic Commons which is required to lay the groundwork for any future development. 

Approval of the new plan is anticipated to happen on May 18, 2021. We are encouraging performing art centre supporters to keep the project alive and moving forward in the next CIP by demonstrating their support for the project and the site.
Express your opinion directly to members of City Council at the emails provided below:

Chris Spearman:
Mark Campbell:
Jeff Carlson:
Jeff Coffman:
Belinda Crowson:
Blaine Hyggen:
Joe Mauro:
Rob Miyashiro:
Ryan Parker:

As well, please share your support in the community! Engage with our social media and share to your networks. Do you still have a PAC support button? Or one of the vinyl stickers or window clings? If not, starting Monday, May 3 you can pick up buttons, stickers and clings at AAC Works (318 7 Street S) or the Downtown BRZ (309 6 Street S). Swag will be close to the door or outside for safe, physical distancing.   

Unable to pick up swag right now? Visit the Lethbridge Performing Arts Centre facebook for a profile sticker on Monday that expresses your support online. On Throwback Thursday consider sharing a picture of a performing arts event and tag it #NextStageYQL #PerformingArtsMatter to raise awareness of the performing arts online. 

If you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to contact the AAC Executive Director, Suzanne Lint (403.320.0555;

Margaret (Peggy)Mezei 
AAC Board President

CIP Public Engagement 2021

You know a new performing arts centre for Lethbridge has been a topic of discussion and advocacy for the last 20 years. Throughout this time a number of City Councils have supported studies regarding a new centre which would meet the demands that our existing performing arts facilities cannot fulfill. Considerable time, effort and funds have been expended in these studies.

During the Capital Improvement Program process in 2017, City Council established a Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee and provided funding to do the necessary planning to realize the project. The committee was tasked with determining a site, operating model and an initial design for the centre. This was a commitment to ‘growing the performing arts’ in Lethbridge for the next 100 years.

City Council will be debating the next Capital Improvement Program May 10 – 14, 2021, with approval of the new plan anticipated on May 18, 2021. We are encouraging performing art centre supporters to yet again express their support for a center to keep the project alive and moving forward in the next CIP. The City has launched an on-line survey to gather community feedback. The online Capital Budget Allocator tool will only be available until April 28, 2021. Please visit to complete the survey.

Another opportunity is to express your opinion directly to members of City Council at the emails provided below.

Chris Spearman:   

Mark Campbell:                

Jeff Carlson:

Jeff Coffman:                       

Belinda Crowson:

Blaine Hyggen:                  

Joe Mauro:

Rob Miyashiro:                   

Ryan Parker:

The political environment is challenging and COVID-19 has placed extraordinary pressures on fiscal realities municipally, provincially and federally. A new performing arts center is a long-term investment in the vibrancy of our community and it must remain a part of City Council’s vision.  Your support is imperative to keep this important facility in the City’s plan.

If you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to contact the AAC Executive Director, Suzanne Lint (403.320.0555;


Margaret (Peggy) Mezei 
AAC Board President

Keep the Dream Alive

The Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee will be making a presentation to the Community Issues Committee on Monday, September 14, 2020, at 10:00 am. Here is the link to the Agenda package. 

This presentation will provide City Council with an update on the progress of the project. You may tune into this presentation on Monday by visiting or on Shaw Channel 9. 

In addition to the presentation on September 14, there will also be an official business resolution on September 21, 2020, to address a postponed motion from February 24, 2020, which states: 
“WHEREAS the City of Lethbridge is undergoing operational reviews to look for efficiencies
and opportunities for reinvestments; and

WHEREAS the Province of Alberta has signaled austerity and has not supported Expressions
of Interest for all of our projects submitted through the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP); and

WHEREAS Council is responsible for the prioritization of projects that support the strategic
priorities of our community;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT once the study is completed and presented to
Council, the following project be discontinued from the current Capital Improvement Plan for
the current four-year cycle (2018 – 2021)

*D-34 – Performing Arts Centre; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the project be resubmitted for consideration in the next
Capital Improvement Plan.”

The Performing Arts Centre Advocacy Group has been working to meet with City Councillors to encourage them to defeat this motion on September 21. PACAG has also provided a written submission to be included in the September 21, 2020, Agenda package (attached). 

If in fact, this resolution passes, the project will be no further ahead than where we were in 2010 with the first study on the project. Nearly $1 million has been spent on 3 studies for this project. We still have to confirm a site location, operating model, business plan and detailed plans are yet to be completed. We are concerned that if this project is discontinued at this stage, it will be very difficult to have the project accepted in the next Capital Improvement Program next summer. 

We are asking our supporters and members to reach out to City Council and express to them the importance of keeping this project moving forward in this current Capital Improvement Program and into the next CIP. We’ve included the submission from PACAG for your review and more information. We encourage you to reach out to City Council to express to them the importance of this project for our community. 

Mayor and Council Emails:

March 2019 Performing Arts Steering Committee Report

The Performing Arts Steering Committee submitted a report to City Council on March 4, 2019

Click here to download the  Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee Report 03.04.19

Of note, the committee established a vision statement and guiding principles for the project that are very exciting:

The Performing Arts Centre (PAC) is a multi-use performing arts and community facility that showcases both emerging and experienced performers. The PAC is a vibrant regional hub that energizes the community and captures the cultural and economic vitality of live artistic performance.

Guiding Principles
The PAC will always be a busy space. As a vibrant hub for the community, the facility will support and foster a variety of performing arts and community-based uses. It will be versatile and nimble, designed to grow, develop, change, and adapt alongside our evolving community.

A successful PAC will enable collaboration among artists, arts groups, community partners, and businesses. It will be supported and used by as many stakeholders as possible and could serve as an anchor for the potential future development of an entertainment district.

The PAC will provide space for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to come together to share in the performing arts. It will create opportunities for members of our community to share in programs and performing arts presentations.

From the construction of the building and its operations and amenities to facility
programming and presentations, all PAC decisions will help create a viable facility now and for years to come.


A Giant LEAP forward for the Performing Arts Centre Project!

Thank you for your support!
Lethbridge City Council has demonstrated their commitment to building a performing arts centre in Lethbridge in their recent Capital Improvement Program!

On May 23, 2017 City Council approved the 2018 – 2027 Capital Improvement Plan, prioritizing projects over the next four years. The following resolutions were passed by Council:

  • Part A: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT $6,200,000 (2018 dollars) for detailed design be included in 2021.
  • Part B: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the 2018-2027 Draft Capital Improvement Program be amended to include $375,000 for a Performing Arts Centre study commencing in 2018, Project D-34 (Draft CIP: D-50), Performing Arts Centre;
  • and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE remaining $62,000,000 (2018 dollars) for construction be included in the 2022–2025 Capital Improvement Program with funding contingent on a Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) replacement program;
  • and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT a Steering Committee be established for this project with members of City Council included in the membership;
  • and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Steering Committee include, as part of its oversight on this project, the development of a Business Plan and Operational Options to be presented for Council’s consideration and approval;
  • and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City Manager develop a funding strategy around Project D-34 (Draft CIP: D-50).

Thank you to our many supporters who emailed, called and wrote letters to Council expressing your support for this project and thank you for signing up to be a member of the Next Stage, demonstrating support to allow us to share your name with Council on our list of supporters.

The work of the Performing Arts Centre Advocacy Group is not complete. The group will continue to work in the community, bringing awareness of the need for the performing arts centre in our community. We will also keep Next Stage supporters up to date as the project progresses.

It isn’t too late to show your support for a Performing Arts Centre by purchasing a membership in the “Next Stage” initiative. Your name will be added to a list of community supporters and you will receive e-newsletter updates on the project. Receive a button and/or window cling to demonstrate your support. Money received from the Next Stage initiative will go into a dedicated Arts Re:Building fund to help move the project forward.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Join The Next Stage Initiative by purchasing a membership for $5. Available at the AAC 7th Street Office, Casa and online at
  • Display your support by wearing the Next Stage Pin or by displaying the Next Stage Window Cling.
  • Use the hashtag #nextstageYQL on social media when you attend performing arts events in Southern Alberta.
  • Be sure to connect with us on Facebook!

Questions? Visit

One Step Closer!

Great news about the future of a Performing Arts Centre in Lethbridge! After much deliberation this morning, Finance Committee has unanimously voted to approve the following:

  • $375,000 in 2018 for final planning, location selection and financial model (including operating model);
  • for City administration to strike a steering committee to begin work on the planning; $6.2 million in 2021 for detailed plans;
  • and for City administration to develop a funding strategy (during this 2018-2021 CIP) for the full construction in the next CIP (2022 and beyond).

We are cautiously optimistic as the final approval is not until Tuesday, May 23 during a regular meeting of City Council. We are encouraged by the commitment to the arts City Council had demonstrated this week.

This would not have been possible without the community rallying around this project. It was mentioned several times during the discussions.