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Port Contribution to City of Prince Rupert Roof Repairs Will Keep Arts Strong at Lester Centre

EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2015

PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- The premier live performance venue of BC’s North Coast will be flipping its lid thanks to the latest investment from the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund.

The Lester Centre for the Arts, Prince Rupert’s performing arts building, is owned by the City of Prince Rupert and operated by the Lester Centre Society. Opened in 1987 as a state-of-the-art 700-seat facility, it is in dire need of new roof system to insulate and cover the 20,000 square-foot surface. Prince Rupert City Council identified the roof replacement as a priority project within its 2015 budget, but required additional funding to cover the approximately $250,000 cost. 

“The Lester Centre is one of our community’s most utilized public assets, as we accommodate a wide range of events and activities each year,” said Crystal Lorette, General Manager of the Lester Centre. “From civic activities like town hall meetings and debates, to performances from local dance troupes and internationally acclaimed artists, this structure is an institution for social, cultural and recreational endeavors. We’re grateful to see this project enabled through a funding partnership with the Prince Rupert Port Authority.”

The Centre’s concrete roof is covered in an MBM membrane that is exhibiting many of the classic signs of aging, including varying degrees of moss growth, rusting, debris piling and drain blockage. The project will see the removal and disposal of the existing roof system and the installation of a new MBM system with insulation, with work occurring throughout the summer of 2015. PRPA’s contribution of $125,000 from its Community Investment Fund represents roughly half of the total project budget. 

“The completion of this project will provide the citizens of Prince Rupert with an updated, secure community facility and gathering place for performances and public meetings,” said Richard Pucci, Engineering Coordinator with the City of Prince Rupert. “The Lester Centre is critical to the overall success of our community as it grows. Additionally, this project will see reduced operating costs on a non-profit organization, which translates to an increase in servicing and events.”

The house of the Lester Centre for the Arts features side and upper balconies, with unobstructed view from all 700 seats. Modern sound and lighting equipment complement comfortable seating to produce an enjoyable and enlightening theatre experience. The facility boasts a rehearsal room, a number of meeting rooms, and the spacious lobby hosts art displays from local artists, as well as a soft bar. The facility averages more than 120 performances each year, and the facility is used for rehearsals, dance classes, meeting and school district events with more than 420 bookings in a season.

“It would be hard to find a resident of Prince Rupert or any of our outlying communities that has not benefitted from the Lester Centre for the Arts since it was established almost 30 years ago,” said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “As a primary venue to participate in municipal affairs, enjoy the arts or actually get on stage and perform, this facility is invaluable to the thriving communities of BC’s North Coast. PRPA is pleased to support the City of Prince Rupert and Lester Centre Society in ensuring the Centre will be here to fulfill this role for many years to come.”

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Michael Gurney
Manager, Corporate Communications
Prince Rupert Port Authority
Direct: 250 627-2509
Email: mgurney@rupertport.com