The Scott Block is ready to take sparkle under the spotlight in downtown Red Deer.
Built in 1946 to provide retail and office space, the ground floor was later converted into an entertainment and event venue. The Scott Block is currently home to Bull Skit Comedy, Red Aces Dance Club as well as Prime Stock Theatre.
But owner Doug Anderson, of Artifact Properties Ltd., said as a black box theatre the possibilities are endless.
“The beauty about the Scott Block being a black box theatre is it’s just so versatile. It can pretty much be built and used for anything you could possibly imagine,” said Anderson about the space that has a location for weddings, funerals, as a conference space, a speakers series and by churches.
Anderson is part of Artifact Properties which has owned the building for about 15 years. Earlier this year Artifact Properties partnered with Creative Twist to manage the theatre space. Both would like to see the Scott Block help to rejuvenate the arts community.
“The challenges with COVID really took the wind out of its sails so we’re at a juncture where were want to rebuild momentum and energy in that space.”
Having been active in the arts in various capacities, Anderson said he talked to his family who agreed that buying the building would be a way to give back to the arts community.
“It was just a great opportunity for us and in an area we’re passionate about and really felt it should remain a community asset. That was really the motivation.”
He said Artifact operates Scott Block as a social enterprise. Any profits the building generates are put back in the arts and improvements the building. An additional theatre venue was created in the back portion of the building with a small outdoor patio along with new equipment, windows, skylights and roof.
He said the second floor was also upgraded after tenants were lost during the pandemic, and rebuilding occupancy is important to making the block work as an arts facility.
“It’s a really amazing space with multiple spaces for larger organizations or smaller ones as well.”
Anderson, who is also president and CEO of Peavey Industries, said the charm of the Scott Block has been a part of the community for such a long time and remains an important part of the downtown.
“I think it’s just an amazing gem. I think it takes these kinds of character destinations to add value to the downtown and draw people in.”
He said a sign of a healthy city is a strong and vibrant downtown and the Scott Block and the restaurants and other venue offer many opportunities for Red Deerians and visitors to gather.
Anderson said Red Deer needs more people to spend time in the downtown, and check out the shows and events at the Scott Block.
“It’s one of those best-kept secrets of Red Deer.”