After 14 months of closed doors, empty seats, and dimmed stage lights, Swift Current's iconic arts venue is ready to welcome the public back in. 

The Lyric Theatre ceased operations back in May of 2023, due to upgrade requirements to meet current fire and safety standards such as fireguard drywall. 

Georgia Graham, interim general manager, was excited to announce the first event since its closing, as the Drag Show with Southwest Saskatchewan Pride. 

“We have completed our phase one renovations, and after meeting with the City and fire department officials, we have been given the go ahead to open the theater main floor coming July 13th," she said.  

With construction ongoing and normal operations temporarily stagnant, the volunteer staff have been busy at work behind the scenes organizing and planning for more events come September. 

Community favourites will return, such as open mic nights, youth talent nights, Write Out Loud and Blenders concert series. There may even be some new events in store, or revivals of things like the Swift Current Improvisational Theatre. 

President of the theatre, Bruce McArthur, has been part of the board for less than a year but is excited with how things have progressed during his time there. 

“We've had a new board come on since the Lyric closed and they’ve become really gung-ho about what the future of the Lyric holds,” he said. "While it's been tough to not have the Lyric, we've had a lot of support and it's really exciting to see what the future holds.  We’ll have to build up the trust of the community again, because we haven’t been around.” 

The next phases will include finishing the electrical and the mechanical room in the basement and making sure they are fire rated and sealed off, which would re-open that space for use for rehearsals.  In terms of the upstairs floor and what that can become, the process is a bit more extensive and remains open to discussion and planning.  

“We just want to acknowledge the help that we've had from an awful lot of people ... especially with our Give a Sheet campaign,” McArthur said. “We’ve had corporate donors, anonymous donors. Wyatt Eckert of P3A (Architecture) has done an incredible amount of work in terms of working through what phase one was, phase two, phase three, working with the city, working with the fire department.” 

A formal grand re-opening is being planned for September, but Saturday evening is the official first day open again for the theatre. The drag show starts at 9 p.m. and is for ages 19 and up.