The show is on: Lacombe Performing Arts Centre celebrates grand opening

Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation President Grant Harder, right celebrates with Vice President Brittany Mulder after cutting the ribbon marking the grand opening of their facility on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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The curtain rose on a new act of performing arts in the City of Lacombe on Saturday.

Just days after securing grant funding from the City of Lacombe to aid in their purchase of the now-former Trinity Lutheran Church, the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre celebrated its acquisition of the building with the grand opening of the community’s long-awaited home for the arts.

“Isn’t it fantastic? It’s been a little while in the making, that’s for sure, but we’re here and we’re open and now our goal is to keep it busy and put some cheeks in the seats,” said LPAC Board Chair Grant Harder following a ribbon cutting ceremony at their 5227 C&E Trail location in the morning.

“It’s all roses and sunshine and rock n’ roll.”

The group formally takes possession Oct. 1, following a nine-year quest to find a suitable space in the community for concerts, theatre productions, dance and more. After deciding the C4 Initiative – the Cranna Cultural Community Centre – wasn’t a feasible option in 2018, they began leasing the Trinity Lutheran Church until the decision was made by congregation to sell the building. At that time, LPAC decided to pursue purchasing the building themselves, and has now succeeded thanks to an anonymous benefactor, and an over $140,000 grant from the City of Lacombe.

Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation President Grant Harder and Vice President Brittany Mulder cut the ribbon alongside dignitaries, performing arts community members and Trinity Lutheran Church congregation members to mark the grand opening of the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre in the now former-Trinity Lutheran Church building on C&E Trail in Lacombe on Sept. 28, 2019. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

The grand opening was marked with cake, drop-in dance, music and crafts, as well as a showing of local films from the Central Alberta Film Festival (CAFF) and a concert by Jamie Woodfin.

While it was a joyous occasion for all, it was a little more bittersweet for members of the Trinity Lutheran Church congregation, including Trudy Hand, whose mother opened the doors of the building.

“Many memories were made. It’s kind of hard – my mother was the one who opened the doors and it sort of feels like I’m closing them, but it’s for a good cause,” she said. “Her dream was done with and now LPAC is fulfilling her dreams, too.

“My mom loved music, she loved singing so it’s bittersweet.”

The congregation, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, first began holding services at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, and in 1958 moved into the little white church down the street on the corner of C&E Trail and 50th Ave. When they outgrew the space, they bought the now-former Trinity Lutheran Church Building from the Baptists, and they’ve been there for about the last 15 years.

For now, the congregation of about 15-20 people will continue to meet in the building.

Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation President Grant Harder and Vice President Brittany Mulder cut the ribbon marking the grand opening of the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

“It’s great because we can co-habit quite easily, we’ve been doing it over a year now and we can carry on with that,” said Harder.

Some changes, however, are in the works as LPAC is undergoing a complete rebrand. Their new logo is now on display outside of their building.

“We have a new logo that we are unveiling and a new website coming right away. We are now the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre, so we want to get away from the old C4 Initiative branding and start fresh,” he said.

The LPAC schedule is already filling up, as the Fall Concert Series will continue Oct. 17 with Curtis Phagoo and the Heartbroke Heroes and Nov. 21 with the Central Alberta Chamber Players. Tickets are $20 each and include dessert.

Maddox Dance Company will put on contemporary dance technique courses Oct. 2- Nov. 20, while Cow Patti Theatre’s AnnaMarie Lea is putting on professional youth theatre classes in the area through the Cow Patti Theatre season which will end Feb. 8.

Rehearsals for Homegrown Theatre Production Company’s performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” are already underway ahead of their Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 Light Up the Night Festival show dates, and there will be more arts events to come in the future.

To stay up to date with happening at the LPAC, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Lacombeperformingarts or phone (403)588-4386.

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