Bert Church Theatre expansion unveiled to public
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Dec 05, 2013 10:58 am
Bert Church Theatre officially unveiled its recent renovations on Nov. 28 in a gala that was attended by members of the art community, local politicians and City staff.
Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson and Theatre Manager Dennis Tinkler were on hand to celebrate the hard work that went into the $3.6-million project.
Guests enjoyed wine and an assortment of appetizers in the building’s lobby that was decorated to resemble a banquet hall.
“This is a building for everybody in Airdrie, this shows that we are building for our future,” said Brown.
“From our creative minds to business leaders, this is a space that can hold events of all kinds and is a wonderful space for people to come and congregate.”
Funding for the expansion included $3,106,900 from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), Municipal Affairs, Government of Alberta and a $500,000 grant from the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund, Canadian Heritage from the Government of Canada.
Tinkler was thrilled with the turn out of more than 40 community members for the unveiling and was grateful to everyone who made the expansion a reality.
“It’s the culmination of so many people; countless hands and tireless effort are what has made this all come together,” said Tinkler.
“For Airdrie to have a facility like this is amazing and it’s something that we can continue to build on as we grow.”
The expansion includes dedicated community support spaces such as: separate stand-alone entrances and foyer, a box office, coat check, lobby, washrooms, multi-purpose space that can be utilized to stage rental events and smaller more intimate performances, and a dedicated dressing/greenroom for professional artists.
A number of members of Airdrie’s art community attended the unveiling, including Creative Airdrie Vice Chair Sherry Shaw-Froggatt and SLAM (Supporting Local Area Musicians) Vice President Frank Wiebe, both of whom were excited about what the expansion meant to the art scene in Airdrie.
“Airdrie is growing and this is just the beginning,” said Shaw-Froggatt. “The passion and enthusiasm for the arts in this community is amazing, and I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people with our capacity to hold top quality events.”
Wiebe echoed Shaw-Froggatt’s comments, explaining that Airdrie is home to a rich crop of musicians and artists and a high-quality venue is a great starting point to launch them.
“We have so many talented artists and musicians in Airdrie and we need to be able to bring awareness to them,” he said.
“With a venue like this, we can bring the art and music scene up to a whole new level and this allows us an opportunity to showcase the talent we have in this city.”
Information and tickets for upcoming shows at Bert Church Theatre can be found online at www.thebertchurchtheatre.com or by searching “Bert Church Theatre” on Facebook.