Stratford Festival theatre receives $20-million funding for reconstruction

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Tom Patterson Theatre Centre
Rendering of the new Tom Patterson Theatre Centre (Stratford Festival)

A $20-million investment by the Government of Canada will be appropriated for the rebuilding of a Stratford Festival venue, the Tom Patterson Theatre Centre.

Originally built in 1906, the existing structure is nearing the end of its useful life. It can no longer withstand renovations and therefore, requires a complete reconstruction.

A 75,000-sq.ft. multi-purpose centre has been designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects to replace the existing theatre space, bringing increased seating capacity, digital media studio, arts research laboratory, classrooms for education and exhibition, and an improved backstage.

The centre allows the internationally-recognized theatre festival to accommodate more cultural and creative events. Upon its completion, it is anticipated it will attract more visitors and promote Stratford as a cultural hub.

More than $48 million is required to move forward with the reconstruction, which will take place in 2018. A $20-million contribution under the Building Canada Fund has recently been appropriated for the project, with the remainder of project cost to be covered by Stratford Festival.

In the absence of Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, the federal funding was announced by Minister of Canadian Heritage, Melanie Joly on Dec. 18.

“Cultural and recreational infrastructure make our communities places where families can play, where neighbours can meet, and where Canadians can celebrate the many cultures that make up our country,” Joly said.

The current Tom Patterson Theatre Centre is among the four locations housing the Stratford Festival, which runs annually from April to October in the city of Stratford, Ontario. It was founded by local journalist Tom Patterson, whom the facility was named after.

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