Crews continued to work on the interior lobby area of the Strand Theatre last week.
More than two tons of lathe, plaster and ductwork have been removed from the vintage theatre since additional work to prepare the building for redevelopment began last month.
The work is being undertaken by Cogent Construction, Figol Electric and Overland Waste Management, in co-operation with Landmark Cinemas of Canada and the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Society. The Strand Theatre lobby will be completely opened up to allow for public viewing access of the historic building in advance of its redevelopment as a community multi-purpose performance and arts centre.
“It’s an incredibly busy time for us right now,” BFMAS artistic director Shandra MacNeill said.
“With our 29th annual festival right around the corner (at the Keystone Centre) and with major international artists like Martha Wainwright, Hawksley Workman, Imaginary Cities and Stephen Fearing appearing over the (festival) weekend, the ongoing work on the Strand Theatre means we’re all working at 130 per cent.”
MacNeill said the BFMAS is “working full-out” to help the community transform the Strand Theatre into a much-needed facility, with significant financial spinoffs that the business community recognizes as being vital to the economic development of the downtown HUB.
More than $200,000 in private fundraising investment and gifts-in-kind have been received to date, MacNeill aid.
“(That) illustrates the broad support the project has and reinforces the hard work of its supporters. There are very good people and very good businesses in Brandon who see this as the way forward for downtown,” she said.
More than 30 arts, cultural and community groups have made statements of usage for the redeveloped Strand Theatre and the development supports the City of Brandon’s strategic economic development objectives contained in the Pillars of Growth strategic paper passed by council in 2012.