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News: Edmonton considers Downtown Performing Arts Centre

News: Edmonton considers Downtown Performing Arts Centre

From the Edmonton Journal (Feb. 23)

A city council committee recommended Wednesday spending $100,000 to help develop a business plan for building a downtown performing arts centre.

The site should include three theatres with 250 to 1,800 seats, rehearsal and teaching space, restaurants and other attractions to lure people downtown, said Dianne Kipnes, co-chair of the Mayor’s Arts Visioning Committee.

Her idea is a campus on the east side of 101st Street near the Epcor Tower housing multiple structures rather than one big building.

Committee co-chair Brian Webb said performance and multicultural organizations need somewhere to put on events because the Jubilee Auditorium is heavily booked with large touring shows.

The Jube underwent a major renovation in 2005, but that eliminated one stage, Webb said.

“We heard consistently from one end of the community to the other the difficulty in finding space, and specifically the difficulty using the Jubilee Auditorium.”

Grant MacEwan University, which is trying to sell its Jasper Place campus so it can consolidate downtown, has been mentioned as a possible partner in the performing arts centre. However, a spokesman said the university isn’t interested because it’s planning its own building at 104th Avenue and 112th Street.

Read the full article (by Gordon Kent) here.
Read editorial by David Staples on proposed centre here.