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.

A Site is Chosen and PAC in the CIP!

The Civic Common has been designated as the future site of the Performing Arts Centre!

In June of 2021, the following resolutions were passed by City Council during the Capital Improvement Program (CIP):

Civic Commons 
WHEREAS the Economic Standing Policy Committee has allocated community projects (Section D) into three CIP cycles (2022-2025, 2026-2029, 2030-2031);
AND WHEREAS the unfunded community projects (Section D) are currently shown in 2022 dollars; 
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Economic Standing Policy Committee recommend that Council:
1. Allocate the projects within the assigned Capital Improvement Plan cycles to match revenue available by year (Section D); and
2. Adjust project costs and revenues for inflation (Section D); and
3. Amend the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program to include the following Section D – Community project: Civic Common Comprehensive Site Plan as identified on Page 34 of the Community Projects Unfunded Section.

5.1.A. AMENDMENT BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Civic Common be designated as the future home of the Performing Arts Centre, and that this be considered in the comprehensive planning.

Absent: J.P. Mauro
In Favour: C.A. Spearman, A.M. Campbell, B.A. Crowson, J.H. Carlson, J.A. Coffman, S.R. Miyashiro
Opposed: B.E. Hyggen, R.K. Parker
— CARRIED

MAIN MOTION, AS AMENDED WHEREAS the Economic Standing Policy Committee has allocated community projects (Section D) into three CIP cycles (2022-2025, 2026-2029, 2030-2031);
AND WHEREAS the unfunded community projects (Section D) are currently shown in 2022 dollars;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Economic Standing Policy Committee recommend that Council:
1. Allocate the projects within the assigned Capital Improvement Plan cycles to match revenue available by year (Section D); and
2. Adjust project costs and revenues for inflation (Section D); and
3. Amend the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program to include the following Section D – Community project: Civic Common Comprehensive Site Plan as identified on Page 34 of the Community Projects Unfunded Section; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Civic Common be designated as the future home of the Performing Arts Centre, and that this be considered in the comprehensive planning. 

Absent: J.P. Mauro 
In Favour: C.A. Spearman, A.M. Campbell, B.A. Crowson, J.H. Carlson, J.A. Coffman, S.R. Miyashiro
Opposed: B.E. Hyggen, R.K. Parker
— CARRIED

Performing Arts Centre
WHEREAS the Economic Standing Policy Committee has allocated community projects (Section D) into three CIP cycles (2022-2025, 2026-2029, 2030-2031);
AND WHEREAS the unfunded community projects (Section D) are currently shown in 2022 dollars;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Economic Standing Policy Committee recommend that Council:1. Allocate the projects within the assigned Capital Improvement Plan cycles to match revenue available by year (Section D); and
2. Adjust project costs and revenues for inflation (Section D); and Amend the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program to include the following Section D – Community project: Performing Arts Centre as identified on Page 48 of the Community Projects Unfunded Section.

5.1.A. AMENDMENT BE IT RESOLVED THAT project Performing Arts Centre be amended by reducing the prior amount from $375,000 to $229,000 and reallocate $146,000 to 2022.

Absent: J.P. Mauro
In Favour: C.A. Spearman, A.M. Campbell, B.A. Crowson, J.H. Carlson, J.A. Coffman, B.E. Hyggen, S.R. Miyashiro, R.K. Parker
—- CARRIED 

AMENDMENT BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City of Lethbridge maximum contribution on a Performing Arts Centre be capped at $75M. 

Absent: J.P. Mauro 
In Favour: C.A. Spearman, A.M. Campbell, B.A. Crowson, J.H. Carlson, J.A. Coffman, S.R. Miyashiro 
Opposed: B.E. Hyggen, R.K. Parker
—- CARRIED 

MAIN MOTION, AS AMENDED WHEREAS the Economic Standing Policy Committee has allocated community projects (Section D) into three CIP cycles (2022-2025, 2026-2029, 2030-2031);
AND WHEREAS the unfunded community projects (Section D) are currently shown in 2022 dollars;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Economic Standing Policy Committee recommend that Council:
1. Allocate the projects within the assigned Capital Improvement Plan cycles to match revenue available by year (Section D); and
2. Adjust project costs and revenues for inflation (Section D); and
3. Amend the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program to include the following Section D – Community project: Performing Arts Centre as identified on Page 48 of the Community Projects Unfunded Section; 
and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT project Performing Arts Centre be amended by reducing the prior amount from $375,000 to $229,000 and reallocate $146,000 to 2022;
and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City of Lethbridge maximum contribution on a Performing Arts Centre be capped at $75M.

Absent: J.P. Mauro
In Favour: C.A. Spearman, A.M. Campbell, B.A. Crowson, J.H. Carlson, J.A. Coffman, B.E. Hyggen, S.R. Miyashiro
Opposed: R.K. Parker
—- CARRIED

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: https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/12868/widgets/51300/documents/55036

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: mayor@lethbridge.ca
Mark Campbell: mark.campbell@lethbridge.ca
Jeff Carlson: Jeff.Carlson@lethbridge.ca
Jeff Coffman: Jeff.Coffman@lethbridge.ca
Belinda Crowson: Belinda.Crowson@lethbridge.ca
Blaine Hyggen: blaine.hyggen@lethbridge.ca
Joe Mauro: Joe.Mauro@lethbridge.ca
Rob Miyashiro: rob.miyashiro@lethbridge.ca
Ryan Parker: ryan.parker@lethbridge.ca

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; director@artslethbridge.org).

Sincerely
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 https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/2022-2031-capitalbudget to complete the survey.

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

Chris Spearman: mayor@lethbridge.ca   

Mark Campbell: mark.campbell@lethbridge.ca                

Jeff Carlson: Jeff.Carlson@lethbridge.ca

Jeff Coffman: Jeff.Coffman@lethbridge.ca                       

Belinda Crowson: Belinda.Crowson@lethbridge.ca

Blaine Hyggen: blaine.hyggen@lethbridge.ca                  

Joe Mauro: Joe.Mauro@lethbridge.ca

Rob Miyashiro: rob.miyashiro@lethbridge.ca                   

Ryan Parker: ryan.parker@lethbridge.ca

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; director@artslethbridge.org).

Sincerely,

Margaret (Peggy) Mezei 
AAC Board President

PACAG to Present to City Council

The Performing Arts Centre Advocacy Group has been provided with an opportunity to present to Lethbridge City Council on Monday, September 21, 2020, to advocate for the Performing Arts Centre project’s continuation in this current Capital Improvement Program. Members of PACAG will be presenting at 1:45 pm. 

On February 24, 2020, the following resolution was brought forward: 

“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.”

This resolution was postponed to Monday, September 21, 2020; City Council will debate and decide the project’s future at Monday’s meeting.  

Here is a link to the Agenda for Monday’s meeting: https://agendas.lethbridge.ca/AgendaOnline/Meetings/ViewMeeting?id=2646&doctype=1

The Performing Arts Centre Advocacy Group will be presenting at 1:45 pm. We will be asking City Council to DEFEAT the proposed resolution and to continue working towards being “shovel ready.” 

We thank you for your continued support and for those who have already reached out to the Mayor and City Council with letters of support. Letters of support can still be submitted (prior to Monday, September 21) to the Mayor and City Council through email; their email addresses are listed below. 

Mayor and Council Emails:

mayor@lethbridge.ca

mark.campbell@lethbridge.ca

Jeff.Carlson@lethbridge.ca

Jeff.Coffman@lethbridge.ca

ryan.parker@lethbridge.ca

rob.miyashiro@lethbridge.ca

Joe.Mauro@lethbridge.ca

blaine.hyggen@lethbridge.ca

Belinda.Crowson@lethbridge.ca

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 lethbridge.ca 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: 
mayor@lethbridge.ca
mark.campbell@lethbridge.ca
Jeff.Carlson@lethbridge.ca
Jeff.Coffman@lethbridge.ca
ryan.parker@lethbridge.ca
rob.miyashiro@lethbridge.ca
Joe.Mauro@lethbridge.ca
blaine.hyggen@lethbridge.ca
Belinda.Crowson@lethbridge.ca

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:

Vision
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
ACTIVE
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.

CONNECTED
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.

WELCOMING
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.

SUSTAINABLE
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 lethbridgeperformingartscentre.org.
  • 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 lethbridgeperformingartscentre.org
E: info@lethbridgeperformingartscentre.org