The Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation (LPACF) is disspointed after the City of Lacombe Council chose not to support the purchase of the Trinity Lutheran Church for the purpose of creating a permanent Lacombe Performing Arts Centre.
President of LPACF Grant Harder said that, despite the setback, the Foundation is not discouraged and they will continue to operate at Trinity Lutheran under their curent rental agreement with the Church.
“It is a bump in the road, but the reality is that we are up and running with a vibrant little theatre. We have held some very successful shows and we have some good acts lined up for the near future,” he said.
Harder said City funding was the first option for the Foundation, but it is not the, “Be-all, end-all” solution.
“We need to establish a permanent performance space and as long as you are just renting, you don’t have that permanence. We will still move forward and consider alternatives. We will examine all kinds of things going forward,” he said.
Harder added he is greatful for all the commmunity members who have supported the project so far.
“The community has been fantastic. We have people coming to us unasked, offering assistance. Obviously there are individuals out there not happy with what we are doing but I think you get that with every project,” he said.
The Foundation has been busy upgrading cosmetic changes to the theatre to be able to host shows.
“We added an art wall in the lobbey, painted the entire building on the inside, we have new window coverings going up, we enlarged the stage and levelled it so it is bigger more efficient. Most of what we have done is purely cosmetic but it looks like a totally different space than when we first started,” he said.
The City did direct administration to work with LPACF to develop alternate proposals to establish a performing arts centre in Lacombe. Council also approved an annual operating grant to the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation for $1,000 per month, commencing June 1, 2019.
“I understand that the Foundation is disappointed that Council felt the property in question fell short of the community’s long-term needs, but I am pleased that all members of Council acknowledge and appreciate the value of the arts in Lacombe,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “We are committed to supporting the Foundation to fulfil their desire for a permanent home.”
“As per Council’s direction, staff is supporting the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation by assisting them research a project scope that will suit the community’s need for a performing arts centre for the next 25 to 40 years, as identified in the feasibility study,” said Director of Community Services Deborah Juch. “One of the key factors of success is the bringing together of as many supporters and funding sources as possible: regional tax revenue, donations, patronage, and grants from other orders of government.”
Council has considered a variety of proposals to establish a performing arts centre in Lacombe over the past six years, including a request to help fund the February 2012 Needs Assessment and Market Analysis for a Community Arts Centre, which identified ideals to meet community needs.
Harder added LPACF is undaughted and will carry on.