Lacombe moving ahead with performing arts centre

While a proposed new concert hall for Red Deer was pushed far into the future, Lacombe is plowing ahead with plans for its first performing arts centre. “We have tremendous support from the community,” said Lacombe city Coun. Grant Harder. So far, this includes a municipal grant from the City of Lacombe, which approved this week $25,000 towards planning the performing space and coming up with estimated project costs. This grant will be matched by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation through various community fundraisers, including a big band concert in April.

While a proposed new concert hall for Red Deer was pushed far into the future, Lacombe is plowing ahead with plans for its first performing arts centre.

“We have tremendous support from the community,” said Lacombe city Coun. Grant Harder. So far, this includes a municipal grant from the City of Lacombe, which approved this week $25,000 towards planning the performing space and coming up with estimated project costs.

This grant will be matched by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation through various community fundraisers, including a big band concert in April.

Foundation president Lann Lieurance said the goal is to come up with a basic floor plan for a 400-to-600-seat concert hall and multi-purpose space, then hire an architecture firm to create more detailed blueprints of the building. The group also hopes to hammer out estimates on construction costs and operating expenses by the end of March.

While a performing arts centre isn’t officially in the City of Lacombe’s 10-year capital plan, Harder said it could be added as the plan comes up for discussion and revision annually.

Land has been set aside for the proposed facility. The reserved parcel, north of downtown on 56th Avenue, near Lacombe Composite High School, City Hall and Cranna Lake, is owned by the City of Lacombe and Wolf Creek School Division.

It’s a scenic spot for what should be a “fantastic” centre, said Lieurance, a saxophonist who performs with Harder in the Flat Iron Jazz band.

The Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation is working on the proposal with help from Family and Community Support Services and several non-profit groups that would eventually share space in the proposed concert hall/children’s service centre. These include Lacombe Parent Link Centre and Lacombe Day Care Society.

As well, Lieurance said many other dance, music and performance groups are behind the project.

In a recent Red Deer city survey, a new performing arts centre was ranked as No. 4 on a residents’ wish list for capital projects in this centre of nearly 100,000 people. The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra has also been lobbying for years for a new concert hall after regularly selling out the 576-seat Red Deer College Arts Centre. But Red Deer city council opted to push the proposal some 20 years into the future.

Harder believes the difference is that Red Deer already has several dedicated performance spaces, including the RDC Arts Centre and Welikoklad Centre in the downtown, and the Memorial Centre, while Lacombe really has no large theatre-style facility with a stage, sloped floor and permanent seats.

Lieurance and Harder feel it’s time Lacombe, a community of 12,000 people with a trading area of 25,000, built its first performing arts centre.

In 2012, a consultant determined that building an acoustically excellent but not too ambitious performance centre is feasible for the community.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Shale oil producer seeking long-term river water supply

A company behind what is billed as Canada’s first commercial shale oil… Continue reading

Red Deer’s crisis line workers are busy dealing with multiple emergencies

Callers need everything from mental health counselling to their basic needs met

Pleaded guilty: Ex-Red Deer teacher gets 3 years for sex offences against kids

SASKATOON — A former Saskatoon teacher who admitted to sexual offences involving… Continue reading

Rental market picking up in Red Deer

There are fewer “for rent” signs in Red Deer than there have… Continue reading

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

CALGARY — The Alberta government is providing a $440 million loan guarantee… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

OTTAWA — The Canada Food Guide’s familiar food rainbow has been replaced… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps may need to stock up on maple… Continue reading

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Rugby Canada Hall of Fame a family affair for hard-nosed forward Hans de Goede

Hans de Goede, a hard-nosed lock forward who captained Canada at the… Continue reading

5 burning questions ahead of the Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — The Oscars still don’t have a host, but on… Continue reading

Most Read