The North Peace Cultural Society has received a $250,000 boost for a major overhaul planned for the North Peace Cultural Centre theatre this summer.
The Northern Development Initiative Trust approved the economic infrastructure grant to the society to help fund the replacement of all 413 seats in the theatre, as well as new carpets and stage drapes, and a replacement the theatre's lighting system.
"Thousands of people use the NPCC with 150 bookings of the theatre annually," the Trust noted in a news release Wednesday.
"Conferences and theatre performances have generated economic activity directly to the downtown core of Fort St. John. Supporting this facility will ensure that Fort St. John and the North Peace Region remain competitive among communities outside the lower mainland."
The project has already received a $170,000 capital grant from B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program, with matching funds from the City of Fort St. John
The cultural society is also in the midst of a fundraising campaign that aims to raise $160,000 from seat sponsorships in support of the project. Nearly 70 seats have been sponsored so far.
The theatre will be closed from June 15 to September 15 for the renovations. It's the first renovation of the theatre since it opened in 1992.
“The NPCC theatre is the performance hub of the North Peace attracting thousands of people to hundreds of performances each year," Baptiste Marcere, executive director, said in a statement.
"These will mean better performances in the theatre for both local and touring productions. Safety is of prime consideration and now, broken seats and carpet fringe will no longer be an issue."
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