A New Arts and Cultural Centre for Lethbridge – Is it a Priority?

May 4, 2006 :: Ken Lewis and George Evelyn
Moderated by Austin Fennell

Lethbridge can boast of being a cultural capital in Canada because of numerous professional, semi-professional and amateur groups dedicated to production and performance of music, theatre, dance and visual arts. City Council has recently developed an Arts Policy and is looking to strengthening partnerships with the Allied Arts Council in establishing priorities for the benefit of all citizens and visitors to Lethbridge.

Since 1968, the Arts have received only 7% of all capital money expended on facilities in Lethbridge. Facilities for sports and recreation as well as the new City hall have received the lion’s share of municipal capital funding. Many in the cultural community see an urgent need for a new Arts and Cultural Centre to replace the Yates which, built almost 40 years ago courtesy of a private donation, is considered worn and undersized for today’s demands. Opportunities for partnerships to build such a facility, including Alberta Centennial funding, have not been seized by the municipality.

Is a new Arts and Cutural Centre a priority for the community? Should more municipal funding be directed towards facilities for the Arts? Where should citizens of Lethbridge interested in advancing the Arts look for leadership?

Speakers: Ken Lewis and George Evelyn
Ken Lewis, a lawyer with Torry, Lewis and Abells, is a long- time trumpeter with the Gold Band and Lethbridge Community Band. He is past chair of the Lethbridge Community Foundation.
Dr. George Evelyn is a Professor of Music at the University of Lethbridge, frequent soloist with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, and founder and conductor of the University Singers.

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