City donates money to proposed arts theater in Bonnyville

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The Town of Cold Lake will contribute $85,000 towards the construction of a performing arts theater in Bonnyville to serve the entire Lakeland region.

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“A purpose-built performing arts venue for our local musicians and theater groups to showcase and hone their skills is something we currently don’t have anywhere in Lakeland, and it’s something that would really benefit the region,” said the mayor of Cold Lake. Craig Copeland.

There are plans for the City of Cold Lake to build its own performing arts hall at the Energy Center in the future.

“In the meantime, this new theater will provide a venue for the current generation of actors and musicians to hone their skills and perform, while providing our residents with a new option for family entertainment through concerts, recitals and performances. “, Copeland said.

The proposed venue is being developed by the Clayton Bellamy Foundation for the Arts, a non-profit organization founded by singer-songwriter and Bonnyville native Clayton Bellamy in 2021.

The foundation presented its business plan and funding request at the Cold Lake City Council meeting on May 10.

The 300-seat, $1.02 million theater will be built on the site of the former Lyle Victor Albert Center, which was demolished in 2021 during the renovation of Bonnyville Centralized High School.

Construction and operation of the facility will be modeled in part on the Mac Lab Theatre, a similar venue combining a school and performing arts theater in Leduc.

“Council recognizes that this is a significant amount of money to commit to a facility that is being built in another municipality, but we believe it will be of great benefit to our residents and help stimulate the music and performing arts scene throughout Lakeland,” Copeland said. “The city’s commitment of $85,000 will come with the stipulation that construction must begin within two years.

Melissa C. Keyes