September 23rd, 2019

Esplanade receives more than $500K in federal grants

By JEREMY APPEL on September 11, 2019.

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Trampas Brown, the Esplanade's superintendent for operations and programming, addresses a crowd at the theatre in 2018. He spoke with the News Tuesday about more than $500,000 the Esplanade received in federal grants this year.

jappel@medicinehatnews.com@MHNJeremyAppel

The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre has recently received more than half-a-million dollars in grants from the federal government.

Trampas Brown, superintendent of operations and programming for community development for the City of Medicine Hat, says the $586,000 in funding came from three grants.

The first is a $300,000 Gas Tax Fund, which allowed the Esplanade to do an LED lighting upgrade, install new portable walls in the galleries and enhance its artifact storage capacity.

The Esplanade also received two Canada Culture Spaces Fund grants – one for $193,000 to complete the LED upgrade and another for $93,000 for its off-site storage of artifacts.

The LED lighting allows the theatre to replace its incandescent lighting fixtures, which Brown said will cause significant power savings.

“The old fixtures were 4,500 watts a piece. The new ones are a 130,” explained Brown. “It’s a significant reduction in energy usage.”

The storage site for the collections and archives will be moving from their current location at Marshall Avenue to a new space.

“They’re upgrading the storage facilities for that to ensure the artifacts are protected and that they’ll be around for a long time,” Brown said.

He estimates there are “thousands of pieces” in storage.

“They’re in the process now of painstakingly categorizing and packing them all up to get ready for the move,” said Brown. “It’s a big project to move all of that stuff, and make sure that it’s catalogued properly and inspected.”

He said the 2019-2020 event schedule will be revealed in the coming weeks and that the venue’s staff are “looking forward to keeping the Esplanade on the map as one of the best venues in Canada.”

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