The new lighting and stage draperies were shown off at the Lester Centre's 30th Anniversary show.

The new lighting and stage draperies were shown off at the Lester Centre's 30th Anniversary show.

Port helps ‘light the way’ for Lester Centre

The Port of Prince Rupert announced on Monday a new monetary donation to the Lester Centre to “light the way"

Fresh on the heels of the Lester Centre of the Arts’ 30th Anniversary showcase last Saturday night, the Port of Prince Rupert announced on Monday a new monetary donation to the centre to “light the way.”

A $114,500 contribution from the Port’s Community Investment Fund (CIF) enabled the performing arts centre to purchase new, modern LED theatrical lighting as well as stage draperies.

The full cost of the additions totalled $229,000, with the remainder of the bill coming from a portion of ticket sales ($2 for every ticket sold) in the centre’s Capital Investment Fund. The decision to put that money away came from the 2013 Lester Centre Society board of directors to build the fund.

The new lighting and draperies were shown off at the showcase on the weekend and are main fixtures in the Lester Centre’s “Lighting the Way” project.

“Having decent lighting in a theatre is one of our basic needs. The old theatre lighting system, while stat-of-the-art when installed in 1986, was in dire need of replacement,” said Crystal Lorette, general manager of the Lester Centre.

“With the addition of modern LED equipment, we can improve our ability to showcase local artists and productions, as well as continue to attract international talent with our reputation for excellence.”

This is the third recent CIF contribution from the port toward the Lester Centre of the Arts. In 2011, the port donated $150,000 toward a stage replacement and theatre flooring and in 2015, the port’s CIF contributed $125,000 for the building roof’s replacement project.

CIF recipients are chosen by the port yearly based on the project’s value to the community and the impact of the project to residents. 2017 CIF applications are now being taken in by the Port of Prince Rupert until Friday, Feb. 10.

“It would be hard to find a resident of Prince Rupert or any of our outlying communities that has not benefitted from the Lester Centre of the Arts since it was established almost 30 years ago,” Don Krusel said, president and CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert.

“As a primary venue to participate in municipal affairs, enjoy the arts or actually get on stage and perform, this facility is invaluable to the thriving communities of BC’s North Coast. PRPA (Prince Rupert Port Authority) is pleased to support the Lester Centre Society in ensuring the centre will be here to fulfill this role for another 30 years.”