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Red Deer’s Matchbox Theatre set to close its doors May 27

Red Deer’s Matchbox Theatre set to close its doors May 27



RED DEER – The Matchbox Theatre, host to more than 400 events throughout the past four years, will be closing its doors on May 27th, following Ignition Theatre’s final performance of [title of show].

“The Matchbox Theatre foundation was unable to secure any municipal, provincial or federal operating support and while patronage has been healthy and supportive, the realities of running a performing arts facility without grant support are such that we are left with little option but to close.” – Cindy Ridge, President, The Matchbox Theatre Foundation.

Home to resident professional theatre company Ignition Theatre and having hosted Juno, Grammy and Tony Nominated performers from across North America, The Matchbox is widely known as Central Alberta’s Hottest Performance Venue, and more importantly, an organization dedicated to fostering the growth of art and culture in Central Alberta and the support of emerging talent from across the province.

“Four years ago we chose to take on the responsibility to provide Central Alberta audiences with cultural opportunities that may not have otherwise been available to them. From Ian Tyson to Memeza Africa, International Film Festivals to those of the film program at Red Deer College, or even the incredible work of our own Ignition Theatre, we are proud to say that we exceeded our own expectations. While this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone that has been a part of our success, we will continue to strive for cultural excellence in other capacities.” – Stephen Ridge, Vice President, The Matchbox Theatre Foundation.

Furthermore, The Matchbox Theatre Foundation and Ignition Theatre have employed more than 200 emerging artists in all artistic disciplines in addition to working with some of North America’s premiere established talent.

“Truthfully, we’re all devastated; those of us who work at The Matchbox on a daily basis and the artists who come and go throughout the seasons. It’s incredibly difficult to witness the growth in audiences, the success of our productions, the genuinely incredible feedback we’ve received – just to see it all disappear due to funding issues. Not only do I believe this is a significant loss for the artists who work with The Matchbox, it’s a loss for our audiences and for the city of Red Deer.”  – Matt Grue, General Manager, The Matchbox.

Ignition Theatre, The Matchbox’s resident professional theatre company, will continue to produce through the 2011/2012 season. They are in final negotiations on an exciting new partnership and will release details to the public as they become available.
“While we feel as though we are making the responsible decision to close our doors, we are clinging to the hope that a miracle will come to fruition and save our theatre. We have been actively communicating with the corporate community as well as continuing to apply for government funding.” – Cindy Ridge

Despite the closure, The Matchbox Theatre Foundation will continue to operate and generate interest in the development of a future space.

“Our work, based on the response of our patrons and artists, is too important to let dissolve into nothing. We will take some time to re-charge our batteries and then get back to work to continue to fulfill the goals we set for ourselves four years ago. We are committed to this community and to the art. This will not be the last we’re heard of.” – Stephen Ridge.

For further information or to offer support, the public is welcome to contact General Manager,  Matt Grue, directly. By phone, 403.341.6500 or email


MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Ridge, Vice President – The Matchbox Theatre Foundation Ph: 403.341.6500 or 403.352.1422 Email:

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