The Vancouver TheatreSports League finally has a place to call home. The Improv Centre had its official opening yesterday (May 18), with news the federal government had kicked in $489,800 so the project could be completed.
The 176-seat theatre is located on Granville Island, and the league is elated to have a permanent roof over their heads.
“It’s incredible, it gives TheatreSports some stability,” said executive director Jay Ono. “The [federal] money gave us the ability to build a place that is suitable for the type of work we do. It’s a nice, intimate improv space.”
The funds, announced by Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore at the opening gala, were provided through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, which is dedicated to improving the physical conditions for the arts community. The theatre will be shared within other arts groups as a rental space.
VTSL had been operating out of the Arts Club's New Revue stage since 1997 but had to find another home last year. Now equipped with a new space, the 30-year-old organization can offer audiences a venue that shines as bright as its talent.
“To be competitive in this entertainment and leisure market, whether you’re competing against the Canucks or against movie theatres, audiences expect a nice venue that’s clean and state-of-the-art, that’s pleasant to be in.” explained Ono. “That experience is all a part of the show; it’s not just what is happening on-stage.”
The impact of The Improv Centre goes far beyond the Vancouver TheatreSports League.
“It is another venue that this city – the arts community – really needs,” said Ono.