Applause erupted from members and supporters of the Bus Stop Theatre who filled the seats at Halifax City Hall Tuesday as regional council passed a motion granting it financial support.
To save itself from being evicted from its location at 2203 Gottingen St., the Bus Stop Theatre Co-op has been raising money to buy its own property. They requested help from the city in June 2019.
“I’m very, very pleased,” said Sébastien Labelle, executive director of the Bus Stop Theatre Co-op, told reporters after the council meeting. “I’m sharing with the whole community a lot of relief and sense of celebration.”
The theatre has been operating since 2003 and is a pillar in Halifax’s diverse arts community. It hosts theatre performances, comedy shows, music, dance and more.
“The theatre is used by countless artists and community members who converge in the theatre to showcase talent,” said Labelle. “The Bus Stop is known for its affordability and accessibility to all who are looking for a space.”
Council granted the theatre co-operative $250,000 in two yearly disbursements, which is half of the money that they initially requested. The money will be granted on conditions including that the theatre provide financial statements and a feasibility study.
The Bus Stop is seeking funding from other areas to complete the purchase, including the province and private supporters.
The purchase price for the building and property is $725,000, according to their business plan.
“I know it’s not the (amount) that the Bus Stop Theatre Co-operative was looking for initially, but it is something and I think it’s significant,” said Coun. Lindell Smith as he put the motion on the floor. “It meets a few of our priorities as a city, especially when it comes to arts and public communities.”
Though the money is attached with some conditions, Labelle said this is an important step that “will get other wheels turning for other supporters of our campaign.”
The entire project will take a phased approach. The first phase aims to purchase the property and land. Additional phases will create improvements and expansions.
Labelle said the closing date for the purchase of the property is at the end of July this year.
About the author
Stefan is a journalist who lives in Halifax. When he isn’t staring at a screen, he can be found falling off of Nova Scotia’s granite cliffs...