Funding for Stage Door Theatre restoration approved
Cranbrook Community Theatre Society (CCT) members are bursting with appreciation and pride since learning of their successful application for funding that will significantly improve the interior of the theatre they call ‘home’ on the upper level of the city-owned Studio Stage Door heritage building in Cranbrook.
“We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. We feel so blessed to have been included in the group of award winners. All we can say is ‘thank you,’ although mere words are not enough,” expressed Peter Schalk, CCT President.
Heritage BC and the province recently announced the results of the single largest funding program to support B.C.’s unique heritage infrastructure. This announcement is part of B.C.’s $10 billion COVID response, which includes the StrongerBC for Everyone recovery plan and the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP).
Out of the 68 approved projects province-wide, two are in the East Kootenay and only three were theatres.
The work will commence this summer and be completed before year end. It involves total removal and replacement of the old lathe and plaster walls and ceilings, the flooring materials, and electrical wiring while preserving the heritage look with appropriate finishing features. New insulation will be added to further improve the energy efficiency of the iconic century-old structure.
The Theatre Proper Restoration Project will not only result in a more beautiful auditorium environment, but also improve sustainability of one of our city’s most treasured heritage properties.
Schalk indicated that it has been a hard year for theatre and the arts in general, with many projects cancelled, theatre unwatchable, and that tears that have been shed over a community that has not been able to get together.
“CCT members view the project’s funding approval as encouragement that the future will be brighter. We look forward to once again working with the Province of B.C. and Heritage BC,” added Schalk.
When asked what this means for community theatre, Jennifer Inglis, CCT’s current Production Manager on their Board of Directors gave this reply: “This theatre is a well-loved and used space by CCT, the community, and visiting artists. The restoration means theatre, music, and the arts will continue with enthusiasm and optimism for many years to come.”
Heritage value of the Studio Stage Door building comes from its historical beginnings as a Masonic Temple and continues to enrich the citizens of Cranbrook and wider East Kootenay area with its aesthetic, cultural and social contributions. It has been a vibrant part of downtown Cranbrook for decades with hundreds of community theatre productions, numerous community programs and private celebrations.
The Fernie & District Historical Society is also receiving CERIP funds for Fernie Museum building basement asbestos abatement.
Cranbrook Community Theatre Society