Upgrades are coming to the performance space of the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in downtown Vancouver.
The Yaletown neighbourhood facility dedicated to arts and culture is receiving a $40,000 grant from the B.C. provincial government for this purpose.
Former city mayor and now Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan congratulated the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Society, the nonprofit behind the centre, for the cultural infrastructure funding.
“The Roundhouse Community Centre has been an integral part of the Vancouver arts community for over twenty years,” Sullivan said in a media release. “The planned upgrades to the facility will improve upon highly enjoyable and entertaining performances.”
Sullivan was a city councillor when Roundhouse, a former industrial complex that served as the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), opened during the 1990s.
Readers voted Roundhouse as the best community centre in the 21st Best of Vancouver edition of the Georgia Straight last year.
The $40,000 grant will be used to improve and expand seating in the 5,500-square-foot performance space of the centre.
The performance space retains historic features from the old CPR days, with its original brickwork, huge windows, and large train doors.
“The removable seating and accessible windows with retractable blackout blinds make this space ideal for diverse events, from dance and music performances, meetings and lectures to weddings, receptions and full-scale theatre,” according to Roundhouse’s website.
The grant comes from the B.C. government’s Collaborative Spaces program, which provides funding for non-profit organizations that deliver arts and cultural programming and services.
“The B.C. Collaborative Spaces Program is designed to foster spaces that enable B.C.’s creative professionals and organizations to work together in innovative and creative ways,” according to the province’s description of the program.
The program is part of the province’s Creative Economy Strategy, which was launched in February 2016.
The strategy, according to the province, “promotes the value of creativity and encourages co-operation, while at the same time, driving innovation, productivity and entrepreneurship”.
In the media release about Roundhouse’s $40,000 grant, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender said that cultural infrastructure is the “foundation of a thriving creative sector”.
Fassbender said: “By investing in space and equipment for B.C. artists, and encouraging collaboration amongst artists to maximize the benefits of these resources, our government is supporting cultural activity that leads to healthy, vibrant communities and a strong creative economy.”