Lester Centre receives $85,000 from federal government

July 18, 2023

The Lester Centre has received a grant of $85,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage through its Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

This funding will be used by the Lester Centre for the acquisition of new theatre seats through its “Please Be Seated” project.

“This funding will definitely help us turn this project into a reality,” said Chris Armstrong, General Manager of the Lester Centre. “We’re very grateful for the financial support of the federal government, who have shown through this funding program that improving the physical condition of performing arts centres will allow a variety of experiences for audiences and performers across the country.”

The intent of the “Please Be Seated” project is to replace the 694 seats in the theatre of the Lester Centre, which have been in the theatre since it was built in 1987. After 36 years, they are showing their age, and the new seats will ensure audience members can sit in comfort to watch shows for many more years.

“Our communities deserve quality cultural spaces that allow them to come together around our favourite stories and artists,” said the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez. “The ‘Please Be Seated’ project aims to do just that! Thanks to this project, residents and visitors will continue to enjoy the magic of live performances at the Lester Centre.”

While this grant from the federal government is a tremendous support for the project, it is not the only funding that has been secured. Earlier this year, the Lester Centre launched a “seat sale,” which has so far raised over $30,000 in donations from individuals and organizations in Prince Rupert.

“It’s always amazing to see the support of the community for the performing arts,” said Crystal Lorette, President of the Lester Centre Society, who served for 15 years as general manager. “People in this community really love the Lester Centre, and it continually shows up in their support, whether it be as audience members, as performers on stage, or as donators to a project like this.”