‘Overdue’ equipment improvements to Penticton’s Cleland Theatre could be coming sooner rather than later.
Thanks to city council’s approval of a multi-phase upgrade plan on Tuesday (March 15), the theatre’s 30-year-old equipment is set to be replaced or enhanced.
Two out of the three phases of the upgrade plan were approved by council, leaving city staff with the opportunity to move forward and apply for grants to help cover the cost of the project.
Carpentry and electrical and audio equipment upgrades are the first two phases of the plan, which was originally presented to council in 2016.
As a result of Tuesday’s meeting, city staff is expected to request a total of $410,000 from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The money would cover exactly 50 per cent of the project’s estimated cost.
“The steps being taking this year to address the challenges surrounding the Cleland Theatre will provide a much-needed revitalization to this important and popular arts and entertainment facility,” said Penticton mayor John Vassilaki.
“Council is hopeful the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will see the value in the changes that are planned and support the City with its funding request.”
Vassilaki called the potential upgrades “overdue,” a description later echoed by coun. Julius Bloomfield at Tuesday’s meeting.
The entire project is expected to cost $820,000.
Lighting upgrades to Cleland Theatre — the third and final phase of the plan — will be addressed by council at a later date.
The equipment at the theatre has been described by city staff as not adequate in quality or size for touring groups.
“Council has given staff direction to correct long-standing audio deficiencies by undertaking updates to the theatre’s power distribution, circuits, network controls and speaker support assemblies,” the city added in a statement.