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Alberta government puts $2.5M towards Roxy Theatre rebuild

Alberta government funding for Roxy Theatre rebuild a ‘turning point’
WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta government will contribute $2.5 million to the rebuilding The Roxy Theatre in Edmonton. The Theatre Network's artistic director Bradley Moss said the announcement is a game changer.

Two months after the city and federal government provided money to get the rebuild going on Edmonton’s Roxy Theatre, the Alberta government said it will contribute $2.5 million to the facility’s future.

“We felt such a collective sense of loss when we woke up to hear the news that morning of the beautiful and iconic building being lost to a fire,” deputy premier Sarah Hoffman said. “It was a stage that hosted many memorable moments.

“We can’t rewrite history, but perhaps together, we can help script a better future,” Hoffman said.

READ MORE: Roxy Theatre destroyed by fire

On Jan. 13, 2015, the building on 124 Street that housed the Roxy burned to the ground. The structure dated back to 1938; the theatre company itself was founded in 1975.

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WATCH: Aerial video from the Global One news helicopter of the Roxy Theatre fire in Edmonton in January 2015.

The Roxy, run by Theatre Network, relocated south of the river to a temporary home on Gateway Blvd. near 85 Avenue in Old Strathcona.

In February, Edmonton and Ottawa announced more than $500,000 in combined funding for design work for a new building.

LISTEN: Bradley Moss, executive director of Theatre Network, speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen

The new facility, to be located on the site of the original theatre, will include three distinct performance spaces and integrated backstage and front-of-house areas.

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The building will display a recreation of the old Roxy Theatre marquee on 124 Street.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s Roxy Theatre to be rebuilt on 124 Street

The overall rebuild is estimated to cost between $10 million and $12 million. The budget includes a new building, equipment and an endowment fund to keep things running.

Insurance will cover some costs, but in February the Theatre Network said it would be launching a fundraising campaign.

READ MORE: ‘Our goal is just to get back what we were’: Roxy Theatre on fire

“In creating much-needed venue space, the new theatre will also help support Edmonton’s incredible cultural festivals, including our own Nextfest, and create new opportunities for Alberta’s talented writers, performers and technicians,” Paul Manuel, board president of the Theatre Network said.

If everything goes according to plan, a new Roxy Theatre building could open on 124 Street by 2020.

— With files from Vinesh Pratap and Emily Mertz, Global News

The aftermath of an early morning fire at the Roxy Theatre (10708 124 ST NW) in west-central Edmonton. Tuesday, January 13, 2015.
The aftermath of an early morning fire at the Roxy Theatre (10708 124 ST NW) in west-central Edmonton. Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

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