Plans are underway for the reopening of the ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS-files)

ACT Board cautious about reopening the arts centre in Maple Ridge

Half a million dollars lost in revenue due to COVID-19 pandemic

The spring is one of the busiest times for the ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge.

Not only would there be live theatre and musical performances, the facility is also a rental venue for community recitals, shows, dance competitions and other community events and activities.

However, after having to close its doors on March 16, because of the COVID-19 crisis, executive director Curtis Pendleton, estimates that they have suffered close to half a million dollars in lost, unrecoverable earned revenue as a result.

And, in addition to the losses, the facility currently has no significant revenue coming in.

Core business operations are being sustained with money received from several grants that the centre received from municipal, provincial and federal programs, said Pendleton, along with emergency funding to the arts sector.

There are also several long-term sponsors that Pendleton is grateful to who have continued their support throughout the pandemic.

“We were disappointed not to be able to share the last eight shows of the season, the many community shows, the scheduled gallery exhibitions and our many arts learning programs since our closure,” said Pendleton, adding that it was devastating to all live arts performers with scheduled shows.

Refunds, she noted, were offered for all of the cancelled shows, but almost 80 per cent of ticket holders chose to give back the value of their tickets as a donation to the centre.

“This is an extraordinarily high number compared to other similar organizations we know of, and shows how much people love and support The ACT,” said Pendleton.

Now they are making plans to reopen and Pendleton is cautiously optimistic.

Pendleton, along with the board of directors, are monitoring the financial position of the arts centre closely and they have been looking at options for the best way to reopen.

Currently they are hoping for more clarity surrounding Premier John Horgan’s announcement on May 6 about the province’s gradual reopening plan, before making any announcements themselves.

Horgan gave mid-May as a timeline to start phase two of the province’s restart plan to allow for more social and economic activity.

Restrictions will be lifted to allow – people to attend small social gatherings, the resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling, the reopening of provincial parks for day use and the reopening of non-essential businesses with safe operation plans.

Virtual learning classes are being offered for children at the arts centre, and, Pendleton said, they are looking at offering the same for adults if the desire is there.

She anticipates that these virtual classes may be a permanent part of their programming going forward.

Pendleton notes there will be many challenges to the ACT’s reopening, but, she is confident that the facility will continue to be the “heart of arts” in the community.

“People have been making art since the beginning of humanity. It is part of what defines us as humans. This will never stop,” said Pendleton.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Arts and EntertainmentCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SHARE: Yearlings playing in a Maple Ridge pasture

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

LOOKING BACK: Taking a trip… back in time

Maple Ridge Museum curator takes us back through the history of Memorial Peace Park

Socially distanced shoreline cleanup coming

Watershed Watch asks people to clean up Katzie Slough and other waterways

Maple Ridge firefighters battle pair of early morning blazes

Downtown Japanese restaurant and residential home catch fire Friday

RCMP investigating tire slashing in Pitt Meadows

Nine cars were vandalized in the early hours of Thursday morning

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read