Arts Club and Bard on the Beach name new complex BMO Theatre Centre

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      Vancouver's newest theatre now has a name and $2 million in funding to complete its construction and sound and lighting systems.

      The Arts Club Theatre Company and Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival announced yesterday the naming of the new BMO Theatre Centre at their new shared facility at 162 West 1st Avenue near Olympic Village.

      The $20.4 million complex will have a 250-seat theatre, four rehearsal theatres, costume-making facilities, and the offices of both the Arts Club Theatre and Bard on the Beach.

      BMO Financial Group got naming rights after kicking in $1.5 million to complete the building.

      The 250-seat venue itself will be called the Goldcorp Stage, which will be housed at the centre, thanks to Goldcorp’s $500,000 donation to allow for the installation of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.

      The new BMO Theatre Centre and Goldcorp Stage will provide both the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach with expanded possibilities for the development of new productions, as well as allowing both companies to grow their current education and training programs. The theatre will also be available for other nonprofit arts organizations to rent at-cost.

      In addition to the private support, the City of Vancouver secured the space for the new city-owned theatre centre through a Community Amenity Contribution valued at $7.6 million; it also committed $7 million toward the improvements through the 2014 capital budget, for a total of $14.6 million in support.

      The Department of Canadian Heritage has kicked in $2.5 million through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and $1 million was given by British Columbia’s Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

      The Arts Club plans to start moving in next month.

      In the meantime, the Arts Club is planning to vacate the Revue Stage; CMHC has told the Straight the future of the space is under review.



      How nice

      Jul 23, 2015 at 10:59am

      Who says there's no money in the arts? Maybe BMO and the city can spare a few million to help the homeless... ha ha ha, just kidding. Where's the glory in that?

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      Jul 23, 2015 at 11:22am

      I sure am glad we have money for these sorts of things but no money to feed the poor.

      Why the hate?

      Jul 23, 2015 at 12:13pm

      Why the hate for the arts? Do you realize how much money artistic endeavours, like Bard and Arts Club bring to the city, and by extension poverty-reduction and shelter-providing programs? I remember reading a while back that Bard alone brings more in tourism dollars in one season than this entire arts centre cost to build. This is a good thing for our city.

      @Why the hate?

      Jul 23, 2015 at 12:23pm

      within the context of our clusterfuck of a broken economic model, maybe. Within the realm of possibility, shouldn't need to bring in tourists who bring at most foreign $$$ in order to keep our system working. Canada has enough food to feed the poor. canada has enough workers to build them housing. Canada has enough of everything; but our economic system is a rigged game run by international banks, so the poor go starving even though canada has plenty of humans and materials.

      So you're right, except that only an artsie moron would think our economic system is well engineered in that it relies on foreign bank-credit.

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      pick your battles

      Jul 23, 2015 at 2:31pm

      to the people talking about homelessness here:

      wtf?? This is hardly the project on which to vent your frustration. How many condo towers go up every day in this city? Why aren't you out working to stop those developments? They could build free housing, right, so why not go fight for that? Answer: because you're too damn lazy and you'd rather crap all over this badly needed cultural complex. What a waste of time you are.

      Have you even been to see any theatre in Vancouver? Do you have any idea how many companies and plays take on the same issues that you are here to bring attention to? Do you know how many artists are starving poor? How many artists need these facilities to be built so they can get jobs and put food on their tables? There are single mothers who make their living this way...This new theatre will do more to bring voice to the poor that YOU ever will.

      The world is a complex place: not everything comes back to the issues of the severely poor. I am a broke working class theatre artist, far from being as poor as some but still poor enough to be against all wasteful spending by the government... but this? This is not wasteful spending. This is a much needed arts facility in our city that will pay for itself MANY times over.

      Since you know SO much about economics (Who's the artsie moron here, exactly?): please enlighten us and make the case for your argument with facts rather than base sentiment. What is your plan to make better use of the MINUSCULE amount of cultural funding that we get in this province? What econominc effect could that money provide to the poor? Do you even have an F-ing clue? I didn't think so.

      THIS is the problem and why nothing will get better for the poor in Vancouver: people like you. Come see a play some time, you might be inspired by the people in this city who actually know how to ACT.

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      and another thing...

      Jul 23, 2015 at 2:34pm

      the comment: "canada has enough workers to build them housing."

      nice of you to sign other people up for some work! How about you start building some housing??!!

      what a child you are.

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      Jul 23, 2015 at 8:25pm

      wow, BMO got a heck of a deal. Given the number of earned media impressions they will get each year, $1.5 for naming rights is a drop in the bucket.

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      Since You Asked

      Jul 24, 2015 at 4:52am

      The bank of canada is supposed to give interest free loans for necessary human infrastructure. It hasn't since 1974, when it joined an international banking cartel, and a condition was to cease such loans---instead the government floats bonds with coupons attached that BMO, etc. can buy and put into their mutual fund portfolios---these bonds are very, very safe investments, but they only exist because there is no bank capable of generating interest-free loans for necessary projects. That the banks have created this situation for their own profit, and that they buy off morons with tiny little donations like this is a sign of the stupidity of our society---I wonder what it is people started doing in the late 60s/early 70s that made them so suggestible...

      as for miniscule cultural funding, i think that food/shelter for the poor should be in basically the place CRA is, that is, a 'supercreditor' that gets ultimate priority where debts are concerned. So, for example, if the government has promised X million for cultural projects, but lets the poor go hungry, that promise is void and unenforcable; Government's fundamental duty is to feed and shelter the people.

      "I am a broke working class theatre artist"

      That's a choice you made. Choosing a career that doesn't pay much is not the same as having a disability that one has no control over. People who couldn't understand that an engineering degree will net them more $$$ than a theatre degree do not deserve public subsidies. And if you say it isn't about the $$$, why are you whining?

      @ pick your battles

      Jul 24, 2015 at 12:18pm

      What planet are you from? How does spending a full week's wages to see a 400-year-old play at Bard on the Beach that's been done millions of times before and I can see for free on YouTube/Masterpiece Theatre with better actors/production values, and is crammed with archaic virtues of women being second-class citizens/minorities being slaves/etc help poor people like myself to "be inspired"?? I know local Shakespeare fans who would rather go to Ashland or even Stratford instead of staying in town and going Bard on the Beach (which incidentally isn't even on the beach; it's in a stifling hot tent in a park with cheap seating that's jammed way too close together).

      If poor people like me are "the problem", then what's the solution? People who know how to "ACT" -you mean politicians, lawyers, and other people who ACT for a living? Maybe I'm poor because I'm honest. Maybe if everyone were honest the world would be a better place. If you think actors are different from other liars because they get paid less and do it "for the art", then you better think again. You are no different than Donald Trump, Stephen Harper, or any other phony.

      I don't know how you sleep at night, thinking you make a difference in the world when all you do is traipse around spewing lies.


      Jul 24, 2015 at 12:26pm the lefty poverty activists become so similar to the right-wing, arts-hating Harperites when push comes to shove. Who wants to live in a city without art, theatre, and Shakespeare? Not me, thanks. That doesn't mean I wouldn't love to solve homelessness and addiction here. I just don't want to live in some ignorant, Orwellian universe.