Strand Project volunteer Kevin Bertram braves the elements to place a supportive message on the marquee sign of the historic Strand Theatre in the Downtown HUB earlier this week. The Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival is underway.
The Brandon Folk, Music and Art Society has met its deadline to submit a revised funding proposal to the federal government for its Strand Theatre project.
Shandra MacNeill, artistic director with the BFMAS, said the $1.2-million funding application was sent via mail Thursday afternoon.
"The new business plan is all written and it has a considerably larger amount of information," she said. "We’re really happy with the way that it has turned out."
Renaissance Brandon imposed the Jan. 31 deadline in early December, as part of a new agreement with BFMAS, in an effort to keep momentum behind the project. The previous agreement required the society to actually secure government funding by December.
Renaissance Brandon said they would commit $374,000 to the theatre’s revitalization project, pending successful funding applications to the federal and provincial governments.
"It’s good news," said Renaissance Brandon board chair Shaun Cameron. "It gives them an opportunity to carry it through the channels they need to and hopefully it’s something that will be successful in the downtown for them and for the city in general."
Once the federal government receives the application, it is expected to take between four to six months before the BFMAS receives the results.
The Strand Theatre was built in 1917 and was refurbished into a movie theatre in 1930. The goal is to restore the building into a multi-use community performance and arts centre.
The project has been years in the making. BFMAS had previously submitted a $1.8-million funding application to the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, but were rejected last March. They were invited to reapply with a revised business and fundraising plan.
"Once we got the feedback and took a look a little bit more closely at some of the other business plans submitted for projects of this kind, we realized that we had so much more information … and work that had been done that we hadn’t actually included in that application the first time … so we’re feeling pretty good about it," MacNeill said.
MacNeill said they did a new round of user consultations, which show at least 30 groups interested in using such a facility.
The Strand project’s fundraising committee is expected to kick off a campaign this spring.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 1, 2013