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Port Investment Helps City Performing Arts Facility Shine Brighter


PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The Lester Centre of the Arts celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday at a gala event featuring new theatrical lighting and stage draperies purchased through a contribution from the Port of Prince Rupert’s Community Investment Fund.

“Having decent lighting in a theatre is one of our basic needs,” said Crystal Lorette, General Manager of the Lester Centre. “The old theatre lighting system, while state-of-the-art when installed in 1986, was in dire need of replacement. With the addition of modern LED equipment, we can improve our ability to showcase local artists and productions, as well as continue to attract international talent with our reputation for excellence.”

In 2013 the Lester Centre Society board of directors made the decision to collect two dollars from each ticket sold as a means of building its Capital Investment Fund and enabling its “Lighting the Way” project. Through its Community Investment Fund, the Port of Prince Rupert contributed $114,500 to support the improvement project, which carried a total cost of $229,000. 

“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 Lester Centre Society in ensuring the Centre will be here to fulfill this role for another 30 years.”

The Lester Centre of the Arts, Prince Rupert’s premiere performing arts venue, 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 for the cultural benefit of Northwest BC residents, the Lester Centre for the Arts has hosted thousands performers and 1.5 million patrons over the last 30 years. 

On earlier occasions the Port of Prince Rupert has acknowledged the community impact of the Lester Centre through Community Investment Fund contributions.  In 2011 the Port contributed $150,000 towards the replacement of stage and theatre flooring, and $125,000 in 2015 for the replacement of the building roof.

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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.


Michael Gurney
Manager, Corporate Communications
Prince Rupert Port Authority
Direct: 250 627-2509