Tom Patterson Theatre Stratford (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

New Tom Patterson Theatre Centre Moves Forward

Stratford City Council has given the green light for the Stratford Festival to proceed with the multi-million-dollar Tom Patterson Theatre project.

Council voted Thursday night to sell property on Water St. to the festival, paving the way for the festival to build a new Tom Patterson Theatre at its current site.

The festival has agreed to pay the City $4.9-million for the property, including $900,000 in transition costs, which will go cover the renovation costs associated with moving the Stratford Lakeside Active Adults Association to the Stratford Agriplex. The Stratford Lawn Bowling Club will move to the municipal golf course.

The Stratford Festival has leased the Tom Patterson Theatre from the City of Stratford for 46 years. The building, originally constructed as a curling rink, is approaching the end of its viable life.

Construction could begin as early as next month. The new Tom Patterson Theatre Centre is expected to open in 2020.

According to Mayor Dan Mathieson, ” We’re excited by the opportunities that a new, world-class Tom Patterson Theatre Centre will create in our community, not only from a cultural standpoint but also from an economic one.    This is a legacy project that will have a significant and meaningful impact on both residents and visitors for generations to come.”

Last month the Festival launched a $100-million campaign for the new facility.

The federal government has allocated $20-million to the project, and a further $20-million has been promised by the Ontario government.

Gifts of $10-million have come from festival Board Chair Dan Bernstein and his wife, Claire Foerster, as well as from Ophelia Lazaridis, a long-time member of the Board of Governors.

A further $10-million has been raised to date, for a total of $70-million.