MPP Jeff Yurek Announces $97,500 Ontario150 Community Capital Program Grant
Port Stanley - On Tuesday, local MPP Jeff Yurek met with members of the Port Stanley
Festival Theatre's (PSFT) Board of Directors to congratulate them on receiving a
two-month, $97,500 Ontario150 Community Capital Program grant. Funds from the grant
will be used to help with the 'Expand the Experience' project which will improve the
Theatre's performance space. Joining MPP Yurek for the announcement were Brian Welsh,
President, Scott Shakir, Vice President PSFT and the Artistic Director of the theatre,
"I am pleased to congratulate the Port Stanley Festival Theatre on being a successful
recipient of an Ontario150 grant in the amount of $97,500. I have had the pleasure
of experiencing the pallet of provocative story telling offered by the theatre and
am proud of the extension work the Theatre has done to raise money for the 'Expand
the Experience' project over the past few years. The Theatre has and continues to
enhance the cultural and economic life in Port Stanley and the County of Elgin and
I know with the assistance of this Ontario150 grant it will continue to do so. I
want to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for this grant and once again offer
my sincere congratulations to the Port Stanley Festival Theatre." - Jeff Yurek,
MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London.
Like many theatres, the Port Stanley Festival Theatre exists in a building (the
100-year-old former village hall) which has been re-purposed. The 'Expand the Experience'
project was started in 2011 to provide an improved working environment for actors
and technical staff, increase the auditorium capacity for our patrons, and enhance
the cultural experience for visitors and residents alike by allowing us to present
a greater range of theatrical performances.
The Ontario150 grant will be used to make needed installation and upgrades to the
building (upgrading the heating and air condition unit, the sprinkler
system, as well as upgrading ceilings and flooring.) Administered by the Ontario
Trillium Foundation, which is an agency of the Government of Ontario, Ontario150
Community Capital Program grants will help non-profit organizations, municipalities
and Indigenous communities to renovate, repair and retrofit existing community and
cultural infrastructure. The one-time, Ontario150 grant has been designed to help
honour Ontario's past, showcase the present and inspire future generations.
"We are grateful for the Ontario Trillium Foundation's contribution, part of the
Ontario150 Community Capital Program that helps not-for-profit community organizations
such as the Festival Theatre improve and renovate our existing infrastructure. This
grant will allow us to complete the project in time for the beginning of the 2017
summer season," said Brian Welsh.
"For 35 years, the Port Stanley Festival Theatre and its predecessors have brought
live theatrical entertainment to Port Stanley visitors and residents alike. The
theatre has grown - indeed OUTGROWN - its time to 'Expand the Experience', building
it bigger and better', said Theatre Artistic Director Simon Joynes.
The program has included expansion and levelling of the stage, addition of 50 seats
to the auditorium, renovating the back-stage area, expanding the basement workshop,
and creating a new multi-purpose room and patio overlooking Port Stanley harbour
for youth theatre, lectures and patron events. The County library, located in the
building, has also benefited from improvements. A not-for-profit organization managed
by a volunteer Board of Directors, Port Stanley Festival Theatre is a key business
and cultural contributor, directly and indirectly, in an area driven in large part
by tourism. For more information about the Theatre, visit www.portstanleytheatre.ca.