Thursday, 27 July 2017 05:56

Lyric Theatre wins $30,000 in national crowdfunding competition

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Lyric Theatre Program Manager Corla Rokochy makes the happy announcement. Lyric Theatre Program Manager Corla Rokochy makes the happy announcement.

Swift Current’s Lyric Theatre won $30,000 in the National Trust for Canada's 2017 This Place Matters national crowdfunding competition.

Lyric Theatre Program Manager Corla Rokochy made the announcement at the historic building, July 24.
“Everyone worked so hard,” she said. “The board of the Lyric has gone on board with this contest and we formed a committee. Volunteers from the committee and board members just really believed that it could happen.”
There were 25 participating projects from across the country in the competition, which took place from June 14 to July 20. Points were awarded to projects based on the number of online votes and the value of donations received during the competition period.
The Lyric Theatre’s project proposal to renovate the upper floor received 46,562 votes and it raised $45,000. This amount is higher than the original target of $40,000 that was set at the start of the competition.
The Lyric Theatre won the contest category of big projects in the western region and will therefore receive $30,000 from the National Trust for Canada.
The total amount of $75,000 that will be available as a result of this competition will be used to renovate the front half of the upper floor.
“We’ve already contacted the plumbing businesses around town to give us quotes for air-conditioning and heating, and it’s going to be a process over the next couple months,” she said. “We are ready to go up there anytime as soon as it’s complete. The office will be going upstairs and it’s been something since I started last September that I was excited to move upstairs. It’s such a beautiful place up there, overlooking all of Swift Current.”
The renovated space will also be used for different activities such as art classes and music lessons to generate additional funding to continue the development of the upper floor.
“I think as we develop upstairs people will see how wonderful it’s going to be and there will be more interest from non-profits or artist groups,” she said. “We’re not exactly sure what the upstairs is going to look like, but I think it’s something that’s going to be a work in progress and we’re going to see it grow and more people will be able to imagine the space up there with the front half finished.”
The importance of the Lyric Theatre to the community was evident during the competition through people’s support in the voting contest and their financial contributions.
“We reached out and asked people to tell us what the Lyric Theatre meant to them and so many people came back with stories,” Rokochy said. “The Lyric Theatre has been around for over 100 years, so everyone has a story, a memory, and it’s related to something wonderful, whether it’s a dance, a movie, a wedding that happened here. It’s all positive things and wonderful memories.”
The business community played a significant role to assist the Lyric Theatre to exceed its fundraising goal during the competition.
“Actually the businesses around Swift Current really pushed us over the top and helped us,” she said. “They’re the majority of the reason why we had so many donations. It was through the board and the sponsorship committee reaching out and getting those donations from local businesses and they’re just so supportive and we appreciate it. Without their support we wouldn’t be able to do what we do here with the programming and supporting arts and music and youth.”
The MNP office in Swift Current has been supporting the Lyric Theatre for many years and it contributed $12,500 to this campaign.
“We believe in the heritage of the building and it’s one of the community based things that we’ve decided that we want to support,” MNP Managing Partner Al Lightfoot said after the announcement.
MNP provided financial support for the previous building renovations at the Lyric Theatre. The company also believes it is important to support the artistic community and it sponsors at least three events a year at the Lyric Theatre.
“We give an awful lot of credit to the Lyric board themselves and all of the volunteers that they have there,” he said. “It’s just a tremendous undertaking and obviously very time consuming. So they’ve got a very passionate board that supports it.”
Stark & Marsh made a commitment of $7,500 to the upper floor renovations, which will be paid over a three-year period.
“We recognize what an integral part the Lyric Theatre is for Swift Current,” Stark & Marsh Director of Operations Darcy Congdon said. “It ties in culture, the arts, the performing arts. It gives opportunities to young people. Artists from around the area are able to come here. … Stark & Marsh have been excited to be part of the project. It goes back to the initial phase when they first started the remodel here.”

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Matthew Liebenberg


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