Kimberly Beaune wants to see a rejuvenated Red Deer downtown — and she’s starting with marketing the Scott Block to bring more groups and events to the city’s core.
Beaune’s Creative Twist has taken over managing the unique event space on Little Gaetz. As soon as Beaune saw the Scott Block after moving back to her hometown from Toronto in 2021, she was charmed by its vintage character.
“I am always interested in unique spaces. I saw the place, and fell in love with it,” she recalled.
Upon hearing previous Scott Block manager, Jenna Goldade, wanted to focus on running Bull Skit Comedy and raising her young family, Beaune saw an opportunity and sent in a successful proposal to the building’s owners, Artifact Properties.
She knew her immediate challenge would be rebuilding the Scott Block Theatre after a few tough years of pandemic shut-down of live entertainment events. But with 30 years of event planning experience — including recently planning social events for Canadian Tire’s 100th Anniversary National Convention in Toronto — Beaune is full of ideas and is already spreading the word.
Last weekend, she attended a conference for event professionals in Edmonton. “I talked to a lot of people about the space and they were really excited that there was such a unique space in Red Deer,” she said.
Beaune sees a niche opening for local corporate training and team-building since conference space at the former Cambridge/Capri Hotel is being turned into a casino.
The Scott Block is already home to Bull Skit Comedy, Red Aces Dance Club as well as Prime Stock Theatre, which is now being directed by her husband Richard Beaune — so there are plenty of opportunities to add comedy and theatre into the corporate training mix, she added.
“Both (corporate training and theatre/comedy) bring people together, tell a story, and people leave changed.”
As there’s always been a strong arts connection to the Scott Block, Beaune would also like to strengthen that by eventually bringing another community theatre group into the space.
Further down the road, Beaune, a 1993 graduate of the former hospitality program at Red Deer College, wants to renovate the basement of the building to create dressing rooms and a lounge area.
She feels this would make the Scott Block, which already has a lighting and sound system and seats up to 150 people in the main theatre and 60 people in the cabaret, even more attractive to clients.
“It’s already an eclectic vintage venue, so I’d like to market the space as a unique venue for gatherings, weddings, meetings and off-site events…”
So far, some upcoming events in the space are: A solo play festival by Prime Stock Theatre in April, a Business After Hours gathering for the Red Deer Chamber on April 25, as well as regular performances by Bull Skit Comedy, and weekly dance classes and monthly social dances by Red Aces Dance Club.
Camp Hoo-Ha, a woman’s empowerment group out of Calgary, has an event booked for Feb. 9, while Red Deer Players plan to present the original play Absinthe in May and June.
Beaune is the chair-elect of the International Live Events Association Canada, having been past-president of the group twice while living in Toronto, and is very invested in the future of Red Deer’s downtown — even operating the Capstone information bus for the City of Red Deer.
“I was born and raised in Red Deer and I spent a lot of my time downtown, so I want to be a part of its rejuvenation.”