Lester Centre receives $167,500 from BC Arts Council

March 15, 2024

The Lester Centre has received a grant of $167,500 from the BCArts Council, the government of British Columbia’s key development and fundingagency for arts and culture.

This funding, which is part of the BC Arts Council’s “ArtsInfrastructure Program,” will be used by the Lester Centre for the acquisitionof new theatre seats through its “Please Be Seated” project.

“We’re over-joyed with this funding from the provincial government, which will help us with this important renovation project,” said Crystal Lorette, President of the Society that runs the Lester Centre. “We’re grateful that the province has recognized the importance of arts and culture organizations to the communities they serve.”

The intent of the “Please Be Seated” project is to replace the seats in the theatre of the Lester Centre, which have been in the theatre since it was built in 1987. After 37 years, they are showing their age, and the new seats will ensure audience members can continue to sit in comfort to watch live music, theatre, and dance.

“The Lester Centre’s successful outreach to the ‘Arts Infrastructure Program’ is contributing a great benefit to Prince Rupert,” said MLA Jennifer Rice. “The theatre is an incredible asset, and this support means continuing maintenance to make sure we have a beautiful place to gather, attract entertaining shows, and make memories. I look forward to settling into a new seat and appreciating a show with my family once the project is complete.”  

While this grant from the BC Arts Council is a tremendous support for the project, it is not the only funding that has been secured. Last year, the federal government provided $85,000 to the project through its Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. And local donations of over $35,000 from individuals and organizations in Prince Rupert has been raised through an ongoing “seat sale.”

“This tremendous support brings our project one step closer to reality,” said Chris Armstrong, General Manager of the Lester Centre. “The Province, like the federal government and local donors, has shown that they understand how facilities like ours provide a sense of connectedness for the community through live entertainment. And with this funding, we will ensure that happens for many more years into the future.”