The show must go on: after a devastating fire, Edmonton’s historic Roxy Theatre will be coming back bigger and better than before.
Last week, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre), announced an investment of $2.5 million from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for the Theatre Network Society. He made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.
“Edmonton lost one of its most beloved artistic landmarks when the original Roxy Theatre burned down four years ago this month. The hard work of the Theatre Network Society and its determination to rebuild this iconic facility, along with tremendous community goodwill, have brought us to this moment. Our government is delighted to be a partner in the construction of the new Roxy,” said Boissonnault.
This funding will support the construction of a new 14,639-square-foot Roxy Theatre, which will be rebuilt in its original location on 124th Street. The new facility will include a 200-seat black box theatre, an 80-seat studio theatre, a rehearsal hall and a gallery in the lobby. It will also be fully accessible for audiences and artists with disabilities.
In a prepared statement, Rodriguez argued that support for the arts is important for Canada’s economic future. “Investing in our artists, performers and creators is crucial to the development and sustainability of Canada’s creative economy. By supporting important institutions like the Roxy Theatre, we are helping to re-establish a treasured space where Edmonton’s cultural community can continue to build, flourish and grow,” he said.
The Theatre Network Society owns and operates the Roxy Theatre. The original building was destroyed by fire in January 2015. The Society has since relocated to a temporary space in Old Strathcona for its productions and performing arts series. Construction of the new Roxy Theatre is expected to be completed within the next 18 months.