Sunday, September 24, 2023

C-K assumes management of Capitol Theatre


The Municipality of Chatham-Kent will continue to offer world-class entertainment and performance space to the community as it assumes management of the Capitol Theatre, effective Thursday, June 30.

The Capitol Theatre has been operated by St. Clair College since 2012, however, the College advised Council in October 2015 it would be terminating the operating agreement with the Corporation of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

Interest in acquiring the Capitol Theatre was also terminated.

The reason for this decision was to allow the College to concentrate on its core business, primarily due to funding cuts.

“The College has been an excellent partner and we expect a seamless transition as the Municipality assumes the operations of the Capitol Theatre,” stated the municipality’s Director of Community Services, Evelyn Bish in a press release.

“We thank St. Clair College for its investment in, and contributions to, the Theatre over these past years. The Capitol Theatre plays a vital role in the community’s Tourism Destination Management Plan and has helped boost Chatham-Kent’s economy and tourism, attracting residents and newcomers to the downtown core through the its shows and programs.”

As directed by Council, Municipal staff continues to investigate options for operation of the Theatre.

Administration has met with St. Clair College staff to attain a better understanding of the Theatre’s business, programming and building financials.

Earlier this year, a “Request for Interest” was issued, including targeting companies and theatre-oriented organizations, to solicit information from anyone interested in providing operating services for the Capitol Theatre.

There have been several interested parties and the next step is for administration to undertake a “Request for Proposal” process to learn further details on the submissions.

Municipal officials said in a press release the Capitol Theatre has been a key landmark in the downtown revitalization and has featured performances of renowned Canadian artists, such as Merlin native Michelle Wright, country singer Terri Clark and rock band The Sheepdogs, as well as comedian Rick Mercer and Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield. Staff will continue the operations of the theatre under the Municipality’s management and welcome an exciting lineup of performances this season, including Canadian icon Gordon Lightfoot, Grammy winning country music artist Lee Ann Womack and Canadian rock trio, The Tea Party. The Theatre is also host to numerous business events, graduations and dance competitions, among other events.

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