The Cranbrook Community Theatre Society (CCT) announced Friday, Jan. 25, that they received two grants, totalling $90,158, from the Columbia Basin Trust fund (under the Arts, Cultures and Venues grant) and from Heritage BC (under the BUILT grant).
The grant from CBT is to renovate the upper theatre lobby. The work will include the compete tear down of the lobby and its replacement, including new windows, period paint and wallpaper and lights. It will also give a facelift to the concession area and ticket booth.
The grant from Heritage BC will help re-insulate the attic and add ventilation to the upper floors.
Both grants will help the CCT make the City-owned heritage building more energy efficient and give a greener energy footprint for the future.
“CCT takes pride in the fact that when work is put into the building, we upgrade the insulation, electric and windows, which brings the whole building one step closer to reducing our costs and put us in the best energy position possible,” said Peter Schalk, President of the CCT board of directors.
The building was originally built in 1909 as a Masonic Temple, and was designed by Thomas Daltry Sedger (1860-1941), an English architect who lived in Esquimault. The cornerstone was laid in November, 1909, and the project was completed with a grand opening in 1910.
By 1973, the Masons could no longer afford to heat the building and offered it for sale.
When the only prospective buyer wanted to demolish the building to put in a parking lot, Cranbrook Community Theatre lobbied the city to purchase the building. This was spearheaded by Bud Abbott and Cornell Sawchuck.
The City turned the building over to the Community Theatre group, who have acted as stewards of the building ever since.
By actively preserving and renovating, CCT was able to have the Studio Stage Door deemed a heritage building in 1989/90.
In the 45 years of stewardship the CCT has spent more than $600,000 and countless volunteer hours in the upkeep and renovation of the building, CCT said in a press release on Friday, Jan. 25.
“The CCT would like to recognize the City of Cranbrook for their active participation in the arts and culture of Cranbrook. We would like to thank Mayor Lee Pratt, Council, CAO David Kim and City staff for doing their part in the upkeep of the historic building.
“The CCT would also like to recognize Columbia Basin Trust Fund and Heritage BC for the grants totally $90, 158.”
The contractor for the project is Munter Design and Building Corp. from Kimberley. Robin Brazenall, owner of the company, has been actively involved in building and renovation projects through the East Kootenay for the last four years.
“His company prides itself on building relations with his clients by producing quality work on time and within budget. The CCT is looking forward to working with Robin and his crew.”
The project is scheduled to start in June, 2019,l with a completion date set for Sept. 1, 2019.
Pictured above, in back, left to right: Will Nixon (Columbia Basin Trust), Kaylyn Gervais (Columbia Basin Trust), Kevin Higgins (Cranbrook Community Theatre), David Kim (City of Cranbrook), Mayor Lee Pratt (City of Cranbrook). Front: Peter Schalk (Cranbrook Community Theatre), Robin Brazenall (Munter Design & Build), Ashlée Martin (Cranbrook Community Theatre. (Barry Coulter photo)