Wednesday, 21 June 2017 13:49

Lyric Theatre looking for community support in online voting competition

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Lyric Theatre Program Manager Corla Rokochy. Lyric Theatre Program Manager Corla Rokochy. Matthew Liebenberg

Swift Current's Lyric Theatre is looking for community support in an online voting competition to win up to $60,000 for the renovation of the historic theatre's upper floor.

The Lyric Theatre has been accepted as a contestant in the National Trust for Canada's 2017 This Place Matters competition.
Southwest Cultural Development Group President Denise Wall said the Lyric Theatre has an opportunity to win $60,000 in the national competition or $30,000 for placing first regionally.
“The contest is based on using the power of social media and crowdfunding to galvanize community support and raise awareness for a historic place and expand our reach, all while increasing the community pride,” she mentioned. “So it’s very exciting to use all of those tools to garner support for the Lyric Theatre.”
The Lyric Theatre is one of 16 contestants in the category for big projects with budgets over $60,000 that are competing for the national prize of $60,000. These projects are categorized in a west, central and east region.
The Lyric Theatre is one of six projects in the west region that also has an opportunity to win the regional first place prize of $30,000.
“We are really excited and it took a while to find out that we’re going to be accepted in this competition,” Lyric Theatre Program Manager Corla Rokochy said. “We had to fill out a form and we had to find a strategic partner and the City was good enough to become a strategic partner and write a letter of support to us that they would help get us votes and they’re going to help us through Market Square. We’re going to attend and drum up some votes.”
The National Trust for Canada launched This Place Matters in June 2015. It is the only crowdfunding site in the country that is dedicated to raising funds for heritage projects. The site has already raised over $725,000 for 64 communities.
Online voting in the 2017 This Place Matters competition started on June 15 and people can vote every day until July 17.
“We need your help voting and we need donations,” Wall said. “So it works in that one vote counts as one point and $1 raised counts as one point. So we are going to be asking in the next month until July 17 for any donations to the Lyric to go directly through this campaign.”
People can log into the This Place Matters website and they can vote for the Lyric Theatre every 24 hours on each one of their e-mail accounts.
“So not every household, but each e-mail that one has,” she emphasized.
The renovation of the Lyric Theatre's upper floor will create new opportunities for the use of this characterful building, which has been a significant landmark in Swift Current's downtown area since 1912.
We would like to move forward with getting it ready to house tenants,” Wall said. “We hope to get some artists in there or even retail space. There’s a number of things that we could do up there. We would like to start generating some income from the space upstairs so that we can help with the operations of the theatre on the main level.”
There is still a lot of work to be done to create a suitable rental space and the funding from This Place Matters will therefore make a big difference.
“There is hardwood floor up there but where the walls used to be there are gaps and those would need to be filled in and then refinished,” she said. “We would need to do dry walling et cetera. Most of the walls are down to the studs at this point and then just deciding how we want to divide the space up, depending on the needs of the tenants. We would have to put a washroom up there that isn’t up there yet.”
Rokochy noted that the availability of more space on the upper floor will also be a benefit for artists when they perform on the theatre's main stage.
“The office can potentially move up there, creating a greater amount of space on the main floor,” she said. “So our green room and our storage back there would become a better place for welcoming out of town musicians and local musicians and it would increase the amount of space, and also a lot of times we find that we’re storing tables and chairs and things in our office.”
The renovation of the upper floor will be part of a long-term renovation project at the Lyric Theatre. Some major work was already completed during the initial phase, which ensured that the building will remain structurally sound.
“There are budgets for various phases,” Wall said. “We have short-term and long-term goals. We’d have to get quotes for those types of things, but they’re all broken down in our plan that we originally had with P3A Architecture.”
In addition to the renovations to the building’s upper floor, there are plans for a rear stairwell to access the upper and lower floors, and a mezzanine on the main floor to increase seating capacity. Another goal will be to develop the basement into additional event space and to refurbish the tin ceiling, which has been taken down and catalogued.
“Eventually we would like to see another entrance in the front with an elevator,” she said.
To vote for the Lyric Theatre in the 2017 This Place Matters competition, go to

Read 2063 times Last modified on Monday, 10 July 2017 13:06
Matthew Liebenberg


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