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Posted: March 18, 2020

SD5 funding supports Key City Theatre renovation

At the March 10 public meeting, School District No. 5 (SD5), Southeast Kootenay Board of Education approved its (minor) Capital Bylaw, which included $1,010,000 to be put toward Phases two, three and four of the Key City Theatre (KCT) renovations, for mechanical and electrical upgrades.

SD5 board chair Frank Lento

KCT was built as an addition to the secondary school in 1992, incorporating the school’s old gymnasium into its footprint making it structurally dependent on the school. In 2016 the SD5 Board of Education and Key City Theatre Society (KCTS) began discussions around the growing need for structural, mechanical and electrical upgrades to the theatre.

“The school district recognizes the importance of the Key City Theatre and the partnership that we have with the City of Cranbrook and Area C of the RDEK (Regional District of East Kootenay),” said SD5 Board Chair, Frank Lento. “Mount Baker Secondary School (MBSS) is the largest school in the East and West Kootenay and the Theatre is a key component of our excellent music and drama programs”.

According to Lento, Cranbrook schools make regular use of the KCT as a venue for concerts, drama productions and award ceremonies. The School District also relies on the KCT as a venue to host important speakers for teacher professional development days and educational presentations for students and parents, such as the recent presentation held on the dangers of vaping.

“We are so grateful and honoured to partner with School District No. 5 on our next phase of renovations for the Key City Theatre,” said Landon Elliott, Board Chair of the KCTS. “This money will be the cornerstone of our electrical and mechanical upgrades allowing the theatre to improve audience experience and enhance the ability to attract artists with advanced technical requirements.”

In addition to funding from SD5 the KCT Society Board will use federal grant monies received last year; $544,375 from Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, $400,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust and $150,000 from Area C of the RDEK. The $1,010,000 minor capital funding from SD5 is the final funding piece for renovations to go forward this summer.

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