What should the City of Wetaskiwin do with the Memorial Arts Centre? That’s the question the City is putting to residents as it evaluates whether to keep the building or sell it.
The Memorial Arts Centre, as a City-owned facility, directly competes with other facilities serving the same or similar purpose owned by other local groups. Through a priority-based budgeting process, it was identified as a building that could potentially be used differently by the community.
With that in mind, the City has launched Memorial Arts Centre Survey, open until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, to help council decide the future of the arts centre — specifically, whether the facility should be retained by the City of Wetaskiwin or sold.
Located in the heart of the city at 5206 50 Street, the Memorial Arts Centre was built in 1947 as a large venue suitable for weddings, parties, receptions, City-run programs,, and other gatherings.
Today, the centre is frequently used as a backup facility for City-run youth programs during the summer when the Manluk Centre is fully booked. It’s also often used as a polling station during elections for every level of government.
With a seating capacity of 325, the upper hall includes an open-concept floorplan equipped with a bar, a full commercial kitchen, adjoining patio, and a stage with a built-in sound system. The lower hall is smaller, featuring two connected spaces similarly equipped with a full kitchen and bar, and can be used for weddings, receptions, etc.
The Memorial Arts Centre is jointly managed by Wetaskiwin’s Parks, Facilities, and Recreation departments, with Parks responsible for site maintenance, Facilities in charge of event set-up and walk-throughs, and Recreation taking care of bookings.
Other local facilities offering similar capacities and services include the City-owned Knights of Columbus Park Centre at By-the-Lake Park, and locally owned businesses and organizations such as Best Western Wayside Inn, Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society, Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 1559, and Wetaskiwin Royal Canadian Legion Branch 86, the City notes.
In 2022, the Memorial Arts Centre was booked 34 times as of Dec. 1, 2022 – a statistic that also includes City of Wetaskiwin rentals, for which booking fees are not applicable.
Have your say today
Share what you think the City should do with the Memorial Arts Centre by filling out the survey by Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. A survey report will be made available once it’s been presented to Wetaskiwin city council at its Feb. 27, 2023 regular council meeting.