The Lyric Theatre has officially announced the beginning of its Give a Sheet fundraising campaign, with hopes for support from businesses and the community.
The Lyric Theatre is a historically significant building throughout the city’s development, but its age is beginning to show. The Theatre has undergone renovations in recent years, however, it needs much more work to reach its potential and open its doors up again for the lively entertainment it once hosted.
The Give a Sheet Campaign has a goal of $250,000 and uses sheets of drywall as the tangible benchmark for donations. One sheet is a $25 donation, four sheets are $100, and so on.
“So excited about today finally coming around because this is this means we can get things started, we can get reopened; we can get to back to producing shows and doing the things that we do best,” stated Bob Jamieson, a board member with the Lyric Theatre. “We do consider ourselves the heart of the performing arts in Swift Current because it's been here forever. It started in 1912 with a 400-seat Vaudeville theatre and then a silent movie theatre. In 1918, it was an isolation hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic.”
Over the years, the building took on many more responsibilities, as it's been a church, a pet and poultry showplace, dance classes, a pool room, a bowling alley and a nightclub. In 2007, it was officially designated a municipal heritage property in Swift Current.
In its current form as a theatre, it has hosted an impressive array of various entertainment forms. Blenders, Write Out Loud, youth talent nights, open stages, comedy shows, improv, musicals and plays have all brought the venue to life.
“They really show the essence of what the Lyric Theatre is about,” expressed Jamieson. “Why most of us love it is because I remember I played there one day, and I was doing my folk-type songs and the guy before me was a didgeridoo player. Everybody was enjoying everything that was going on, and that to me was the Lyric. You could not bring that group together anywhere in any other venue and have them get along with each other, for one thing. And secondly, enjoy everything that was put up there, no matter what it was.”
Local Playwright Stew Tasche sold out his historical play about the Cypress Hills there 15 times in a row. He was also the first individual to donate to the cause.
“You won't find that magic anywhere else,” stated Tasche. “You can go to whatever, but you're not going to find that anywhere else. I don't think we understand how important that building and that atmosphere and that theatre are to this community. People will come and go, but that theatre has been there since 1912, and people are still performing and it's a magical place. I hope that people will get behind this and get it going...We can't afford to lose the Lyric Theatre.”
To donate to the cause, people are encouraged to check out their new website here.
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