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On April 8th, 2019, Council accepted the request from the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation for financial support toward the purchase of the former Trinity Lutheran Church as information, and directed City administration to work with the group to develop alternate proposals to establish a performing arts centre in Lacombe.
Council also approved an annual operating grant to the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation for $1,000 per month, commencing June 1, 2019.
“I understand that the Foundation is disappointed that Council felt the property in question fell short of the community’s long-term needs, but I am pleased that all members of Council acknowledge and appreciate the value of the arts in Lacombe,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “We are committed to supporting the Foundation to fulfil their desire for a permanent home.”
“As per Council’s direction, staff is supporting the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation by assisting them research a project scope that will suit the community’s need for a performing arts centre for the next 25 to 40 years, as identified in the feasibility study,” said Director of Community Services Deborah Juch. “One of the key factors of success is the bringing together of as many supporters and funding sources as possible: regional tax revenue, donations, patronage, and grants from other orders of government.”
Council has considered a variety of proposals to establish a performing arts centre in Lacombe over the past six years, including a request to help fund the February 2012 Needs Assessment and Market Analysis for a Community Arts Centre, which identified ideals to meet community needs.
The City currently supports performance art through annual funding to a variety of groups staging performance events in temporary venues. In 2018, contributions totalling $20,000 were distributed to nine different individuals and arts groups.
Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation has been in the Trinity Lutheran Church for almost a year now, and as President of the Foundation Grant Harder explains, this is only a minor setback in their journey of finding a permanent place to call home.
“Basically what we decided is that it’s going to be business as usual. We’ve had some excellent shows in there, sold out shows. We got some great acts booked in there later in April, and next month in May… and things are progressing just like we wanted to. So we’re just going to carry on and consider our alternatives and go from there.”
Harder says they remain hopeful, as this does prove the City has great support for the local performing arts community.
“We’re going to talk about our options with regard to a long term solution. Buying it obviously, would be the choice, because then we know we’re secured and have a secured home. You know what it’s like renting, every time you rent you wonder whether you are going to be there two years from now or not, so we’re looking for a more permanent solution.”
Harder says the foundation and the City will continue working on a permanent solution that will meet Lacombe' needs for a permanent performing arts centre.