Aultsville needs new lighting system to continue operations

Nick Seebruch
Aultsville needs new lighting system to continue operations
St. Lawrence College's Cornwall Campus (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – At the Cornwall City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14 Aultsville Theatre presented to council a request for financial support for a new lighting system.

The theatre needs $23, 272 from the City for the lighting system and this represents 8 percent of the total $295, 745 that the theatre needs for the project. The theatre has already raised $40, 000 on its own.

The theatre has also submitted grant funding applications to the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund for $147, 873 and the Ontario Trillium Fund for $84, 600.

The lighting currently at the theatre has been in place since it opened in 1976 and due to the old technology, it is becoming harder to replace parts when they fail.

Janet Martel, the General Manager of Aultsville Theatre said that they had reached the point where replacement of lightbulbs was no longer possible due to the prevalence of LEDs. The theatre cannot switch over to LEDs because they have been told that they cannot be merged into their old technology.

Former Cornwall City Councillor, and supporter of the theatre was in the audience at the meeting.

“If we don’t get this funding from the City the doors are closed, and the key is turned,” Gardiner told Seaway News implying that the theatre would have to cease operations without a new lighting system.

A reason for this, is that the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund, which is expected to contribute the lions share of the funding, requires that 75 percent of the total be gathered before they approve their share. That 75 percent includes the money that the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund is potentially offering. Currently, the theatre has $40, 000 that they have raised themselves and if they get the $23, 272 from the City of Cornwall, then they will be able to reach the amount they need. However, the theatre has not yet heard back from the Ontario Trillium Fund either.

Gardiner said that he had heard some positive things from councillors he had spoken with. During the meeting, both Councillors Elaine MacDonald and Bernadette Clement spoke in support of the theatre.

“Aultsville is truly a gem in our community,” said Councillor MacDonald.

Other councillors raised concerns about how Aultsville Theatre rents their space from St. Lawrence College.

Janet Martel assured Council that she does not expect the relationship between the college and the theatre to change.

The theatre is asking either for a direct grant from the City or an interest free loan.

Council voted to refer the request to administration for a report.

Aultsville Theatre will be holding a benefit concert on Dec. 15 organized by the Cornwall Concert Series. Tickets are available at Aultsville Theatre and the Civic Complex.

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