The Board of Directors of the Port Stanley Festival Theatre (PSFT) are pleased to announce the receipt of a grant of $97,500 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Ontario150 capital program. This grant is a major contribution to the Theatre’s ‘Expand the Experience’ project to improve the Theatre’s performance space.
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.
On hand to congratulate the theatre was Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, Brian Welsh, President of the Port Stanley Festival Theatre, Scott Shakir, Vice President PSFT, Simon Joynes, Artistic Director of PSFT and several other members of the Board of Directors.
“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.
The Ontario150 grant will be used to make needed improvements to the building, including upgrading the heating, air condition and sprinkler systems, and improvements to ceilings and flooring. Administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario150 Community Capital Program grants 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.
“I am pleased to congratulate the Port Stanley Festival Theatre on being a successful recipient of an Ontario 150 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 Ontario 150 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, Elgin-Middlesex-London.
“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.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation, a leading grant-maker in Canada, strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. For more information about the Ontario Trillium Foundation, visit www.otf.ca