The Southeast Kootenay school district is pitching in just over $1 million for future mechanical and electrical upgrades at the Key City Theatre.
The theatre was built as an addition to Mount Baker Secondary School in 1992, incorporating the building’s former gymnasium space as the footprint, making it structurally dependent on the school, according to the district.
Four years ago, the SD5 Board of Education and Key City Theatre Society began discussing the growing need for structural, mechanical and electrical upgrades.
“The school district recognizes the importance of the Key City Theatre and the partnership that we have with the City of Cranbrook and Area C of the RDEK (Regional District of East Kootenay),” said SD5 Board Chair, Frank Lento. “Mount Baker Secondary School (MBSS) is the largest school in the East and West Kootenay and the Theatre is a key component of our excellent music and drama programs.”
The upgrades are being tackled in four phases; one has already been completed.
Cranbrook schools regularly use the theatre as a venue for concerts, drama productions and award ceremonies, while the district itself uses the facility for teacher professional development days and educationa presentations for students and parents.
“We are so grateful and honoured to partner with School District 5 on our next phase of renovations for the Key City Theatre,” said Landon Elliott, Board Chair of the KCTS. “This money will be the cornerstone of our electrical and mechanical upgrades allowing the theatre to improve audience experience and enhance the ability to attract artists with advanced technical requirements.”
In addition to SD5 funding, the Key City Theatre Society board will pull funding from other sources, including grant mony from the Canadian Heritage Canada Cultural Spaces Fund ($544,375), the Columbia Basin Trust ($400,000), and Area C of the Regional District of East Kootenay ($150,000).