The Visitor Information Centre in the lobby of Summerside's Harbourfront Theatre will soon become a permanent fixture thanks to government funding announced Friday.
As well as making space for the VIC, the Harbourfront Theatre will use the funding to make some exterior infrastructure improvements.
National Revenue and ACOA Minister Gail Shea joined P.E.I. Tourism and Culture Minister Robert Henderson, along with officials from the Regional Cultural Event Centre Inc. (Harbourfront Theatre) to announce funding and project details.
“By helping to improve our community-based facilities, like this beautiful theatre, our government is contributing to united and prosperous communities for many years to come,” said Shea. “This investment will have immediate and long-term benefits for the theatre, the Visitor Information Centre and for the many Island residents and visiting guests who travel through this fantastic facility.”
The Government of Canada, through ACOA, will invest $157,782 from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. The Government of Prince Edward Island will invest $90,000 through the Department of Tourism and Culture, and $66,080 through the Island Community Fund. The Regional Cultural Event Centre Inc. will contribute $34,818.
“The Harbourfront Theatre is an incredibly valuable asset in terms of its contribution to the arts and to the cultural fabric of the province,” said Henderson. “The addition of a new visitor information centre on site will not only benefit visitors to the province who require assistance, but it will also help promote programming at the theatre itself by exposing those visitors to upcoming performances and programming.”
The project includes reconfiguring existing space to accommodate for the VIC and also relocating theatre administrative offices and a multi-purpose room. Infrastructure upgrades to the exterior of the facility will include re-shingling the roof, replacing pillars at the front entrance, as well as repairs to the wheelchair ramp and siding.
“We are so pleased to have support from the federal and provincial governments which has allowed us to move forward with our internal and external facility improvement plans,” said theatre general manager Kieran Kellere. “As a driving force within the community to encourage and develop an appreciation for the performing arts, it is important that our facility is current, appealing and safe for our guests."