The Albert NDP has announced $9.3 million in funding to improve two major theatres in the province.
The money will be spent on renovations to the Northern and Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditoriums in Edmonton and Calgary.
Upgrades will be made to freight elevators and the orchestra pits. Accessible washrooms will be installed and rehearsal halls, green rooms and dressing rooms will be modernized.
“The work done behind the scenes is as important as what is on the main stage,” Premier Rachel Notley said in a media release Wednesday.
The funding was announced as part of the 2018 provincial budget.
“Budget 2018 is about diversifying the economy, protecting public services and finding a path to balance. This investment in the Jubilee Auditoriums does all three and will make life better for the performers who come here, and for the patrons who enjoy the shows,” Notley said.
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Both theatres were last renovated in 2004, when improvements were made to the seating, climate control and acoustics. Each year, more than 430 performances and 730,000 people come through the doors of the theatres.
“The Alberta Jubilee Auditoriums are two of the best performing spaces in Canada and we’re pleased to see the government of Alberta making this investment in upgrading them,” Alberta Ballet’s executive director Chris George said.
“These renovations will ensure that Alberta Ballet can continue to share the exciting live dance that Albertans love, and will enable us to stage even bigger productions at the Jubilee.”
The venues are owned by the government of Alberta and generate nearly $7 million in revenue. The theatres were built between 1955 and 1957 and given as a gift to the people of the province as part of Alberta’s 50th anniversary celebrations.