BANFF – The Alberta government is footing the bill on a $2.58-million project at the Banff Centre that will replace aging infrastructure systems at its theatre complex.
On Tuesday (July 21), the province announced funding to upgrade heating, ventilation and cooling systems at the Jenny Belzberg Theatre and support systems in the attached Margaret Greenham Theatre and Laszlo Funtek Teaching Wing.
“This funding will allow Banff Centre to replace 50-year-old heating and ventilation systems in the theatre complex, supporting the overall comfort and experience of artists who come here to train and work on their craft, and the audiences who benefit from the artist performances,” said Janice Price, president and CEO, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in a press release.
Construction is expected to start in early 2021 and the entire project is anticipated to be completed later that year or in early 2022.
According to the province, once the project is underway, it will generate 14 labour jobs in the Banff area.
The Jenny Belzberg Theatre, formerly the Eric Harvie Theatre, is currently under construction after the Belzberg family announced a transformational donation to the Banff Centre for the revitalization project last year.
Alberta's Recovery Plan emphasizes infrastructure as a "critical component for supporting economic growth and jobs for Albertans."
"This includes investing in shovel-ready projects to upgrade and maintain public facilities, like this post-secondary institution, that help keep Albertans working and stimulate local economies where it matters most," said Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure, in a press release.
The Banff Centre has been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the Banff Centre permanently laid off 284 employees after temporarily laying off 400 employees in March due to the economic effects caused by the global virus.
Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin said the Alberta government appreciates the post-secondary art institute's contribution to the arts.
"The effects of COVID-19 have been devastating on the Banff Centre, and this funding will help ensure they are sustainable for the future,” Rosin said, in a statement.
Currently, the Sally Borden Recreation Centre at the Banff Centre is undergoing extensive renovations on its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, which is on track to be completed by early September.