Artist rendering of the newly minted BMO Theatre Centre

Vancouver’s newest live theatre venue, scheduled to open in its doors this fall in the Olympic Village area, will see its name changed to the BMO Theatre Centre, thanks to the infusion of $1.5 million from the BMO Financial Group.

Originally called the West First Theatre Centre, and to be operated by the Arts Club Theatre Company and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, the newly minted centre will also see its 250-seat performance space renamed the Goldcorp Stage, thanks to an additional half million dollar donation from Vancouver based gold producer, Goldcorp, Goldcorp’s donation will be used for the installation of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems in the new space.

According to a joint press release, the BMO Financial Group donation makes it the most significant theatre sponsorship by the financial institution in British Columbia, and continues the relationships it had already established with both the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach. The donation from Goldcorp also continues that company’s relationship with Bard on the Beach.

“This gift also fits in nicely with BMO Financial Group’s support of arts and culture, and in particular theatre, across Canada,” says Mike Bonner, Senior Vice-President, BC & Yukon, BMO Bank of Montreal in the release.

The new BMO Theatre Centre and Goldcorp Stage will provide both the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach with expanded opportunities for the development of new productions, as well as allowing both companies to grow their current education and training programs. The theatre will also be available for other non-profit arts organizations to rent at-cost.

“With this support from BMO and Goldcorp, we can now inspire and entertain a broader cross-section of our community,” says Peter Cathie White, Executive Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company.