Globe Theatre to receive funding from joint partnership between city, province, feds

Members of the Globe Theatre say this is an announcement they’ve been waiting to hear for quite some time.

The 113-year-old Prince Edward Building, which stands in the heart of Regina, will be getting some much-needed upgrades thanks to a partnership between the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Details of the funding were announced at an event hosted Friday morning at the Globe Theatre. The total estimated cost of the project is $28.9 million with the Government of Canada pitching in $10,831,697, the Government of Saskatchewan contributing $9,025,512, and the City of Regina investing $6,600,000.

The remainder of the costs will be covered by the theatre.

Globe Theatre board member Ruth Smillie, who is the theatre’s former artistic director, said this support is simply “a dream come true”.

“It’s a beautiful, old heritage building that needs some real TLC,” she stated. “With the generous support of city, province and federal governments, [we can] hollow out this building like a pumpkin and turn it into a state-of-the-art theatre.”

Smillie talked about some of the problems the actors, actresses, staff and many others have endured over the years.

Improper insulation, lack of freight elevators, inadequate bathrooms, and even a bat problem were issues that came to Smillie’s mind when speaking to reporters.

Water infiltration, fire-proof structural columns in the lower level, and upgrading electrical and mechanical systems are some of the target areas for this project, according to a release from the government.

But now that the theatre is receiving its long-awaited refurbishment, she admitted this will be remembered as a “momentous day”.

Representatives from all levels of government arrived for the celebration including Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale, Minister of Advanced Education Tina Beaudry-Mellor, and Regina Mayor Michael Fougere.

The mayor said the city is very excited for the revitalization of such an important structure in the downtown district.

“This was our main priority for infrastructure funding this year, along with the two pools, we wanted the Globe to be on the list,” he explained. “It’s important to have an iconic building fixed up, rejuvenated, and to preserve the heritage value.”

Not only did Fougere suggest this is a massive boost for the building and the city, but he mentioned how this project will greatly benefit the Globe Theatre community for years to come.

He said the theatre is an anchor for the downtown area.

“We’ll attract more people and have a greater capacity for them to be here,” said Fougere. “The cultural side of this, the outreach to the community, the ability to provide better programming is so vital.”

It was mentioned that plans for the project will be figured out over the next six months. Work is expected to get underway in summer 2020.

More from 620 CKRM