Ticket prices for performances at Calgary's Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts would have to double to make up a budget shortfall, according to the CEO, Johann Zietsman.
The organization is facing a $420 thousand dollar deficit because of a cut in provincial funding.
In the centre’s annual report to the city, Mr. Zietsman said the financial situation is critical and the Epcor Centre is unsure about how to bridge the funding gap.
"Because we are so maximally occupied, we can’t earn our way out of this, unless we double ticket prices."
The centre lost its naming sponsor after the agreement with Epcor ended a few years ago and the provincial government withdrew its financial support this summer.
Equipment in the complex is aging and the groups who use the centre complain about issues of accessibility and space constraints.
The centre's performance spaces are home to many of Calgary's major cultural institutions including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Theatre Calgary, One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre and Alberta Theatre Projects.
Mr. Zietsman says those companies are aware of the situation.
"We have been very open with our resident companies and all our partners about the potential negative effects this might have."
However, he said the centre remains committed to presenting work that both entertains and challenges audiences.
"Resident companies have the benefit and the luxury to experiment with work we all need to see, our communities need to have; but it means the seats won’t always sell, they can’t only do blockbusters."
Zietsman also said the centre is speaking to the Alberta government about reconsidering its funding decision.
An earlier version of this story stated the deficit was $420 million. The correct figure is $420 thousand.Sep 04, 2013 1:00 PM MT