Nova Scotia

$500,000 funding boost given to Halifax's Neptune Theatre

Halifax's Neptune Theatre just completed a two-year, $5.3-million renovation, with the federal government announcing a $500,000 funding boost on Thursday.

'Professional artists and performers need to have modern and efficient cultural spaces'

Halifax MP Andy Fillmore gets a tour of the renovations at the Neptune Theatre. Fillmore is second from the right wearing a striped tie. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Halifax MP Andy Fillmore pulled out a $20 bill and a toonie out of his pocket Wednesday morning in a newly renovated section of Neptune Theatre, for which the federal government helped pay.

The cash topped up Ottawa's latest funding for the theatre to an even $500,000. 

"Professional artists and performers need to have modern and efficient cultural spaces to present their work to audiences," said Fillmore.

Halifax's Neptune Theatre just completed a two-year, $5.3-million renovation. The federal government had previously announced $1 million in funding for the theatre on Argyle Street in January 2016.

New, larger seats were brought in and improvements were made in many other parts of the building, including the foyer.

A stage at Neptune Theatre, which recently underwent renovations. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

"It allows Neptune Theatre, as an organization and as a building, to keep up to date with the things that we need to make the audience's lives more comfortable," said Neptune's artistic director Jeremy Webb.

That meant the theatre was in dire need of an update to its technology.

"There were some quieter spots — or what we refer to as dead spots — in the theatre, both in terms of sound and lighting," said Rebecca Hiltz LeBlanc, president of the Neptune Theatre Foundation's board of directors. "Now the sound is incredible throughout the theatre no matter what seat you are in, and the same for the lighting as well."

Neptune Theatre artistic director Jeremy Webb, left, and Halifax MP Andy Fillmore, right, were part of the funding announcement on Thursday. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Hiltz LeBlanc said she is very excited about the direction the theatre is taking.

Neptune Theatre is hoping for a big year, she said, now that the renovations are complete and the construction on the new Argyle Street landscape and the nearby Halifax Convention Centre is also finished.