News / Halifax

More than $1 million in upgrades coming to Neptune Theatre in Halifax

Funding between federal and provincial governments will go to new seating and digital signage.

Actors run through a scene from Neptune Theatre's production of A Year With Frog and Toad last year.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Actors run through a scene from Neptune Theatre's production of A Year With Frog and Toad last year.

Over the next two years, Neptune Theatre is going to get a lot more comfortable.

More than $1 million in funding was announced Wednesday between the federal and provincial governments for upgrades to Neptune during its next two seasons, including new seating in both Fountain Hall and Scotiabank Studio, new digital signage, and improvements to the theatre’s box office system.

“Those are seemingly small additions when you think about how long you sit -- if I may say -- with your bums in the seats, but the signage and your experience in going through the box office will be so vastly improved by this contribution,” Neptune Theatre president Rebecca Hiltz LeBlanc said at a funding announcement.

She called the contribution “life-changing” for the theatre, and thanked federal heritage minister Mélanie Joly for the federal government’s $945,000 portion of the contribution.

“Your visit today here is an affirmation that Neptune is an integral part of the cultural community in our region,” she said.

“Our government really believes in the importance of arts and culture,” Joly told reporters after the announcement.

Federal heritage minister Mélanie Joly speaks at a funding announcement at Neptune Theatre in Halifax on Wednesday.

Zane Woodford/Metro

Federal heritage minister Mélanie Joly speaks at a funding announcement at Neptune Theatre in Halifax on Wednesday.

She said arts and culture are important to her government’s “economic growth vision,” and that people like those involved in Neptune are an important part of Canada’s “innovation ecosystem.”

“They’re the fauna and flora of that ecosystem,” she said.

Neptune will also be getting $100,000 from the provincial government to go towards the upgrades.

“This is such a centrepiece for the cultural community not only in Halifax, but across our region,” Premier Stephen McNeil said of Neptune.

Joly also announced more than $2.4 million in new funding for Acadian groups across Atlantic Canada as part of her government’s “official-language communities program.”

“It’s important for us to show that we’re true partners, and that we believe that we can empower these communities in order to make sure that they are a dynamic and a vibrant part of our society,” she said.

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