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Roxy Theatre a finalist in National Trust’s Next Great Save Competition

The Roxy Theatre, pictured here in Colemanhas emerged as one of the 12 finalists in the National Trust for Canada’s The Next Great Save competition. Contributor photo.

Nicholas L. M. Allem

Apr 17, 2024

Community Support is integral to the Roxy winning the competition.
Voting takes place from April 18 to May 6.

The Roxy Theatre has emerged as one of the 12 finalists in the National Trust for Canada’s The Next Great Save competition.

This esteemed competition stands as a beacon of hope for communities seeking to preserve and rejuvenate their historic landmarks, offering a chance to secure a coveted $50,000 cash prize.

Fred Bradley, consultant for the Roxy Theatre, shared the community’s excitement, remarking, “The Roxy Theatre project volunteers are genuinely thrilled by this remarkable opportunity to showcase our endeavor on the national stage. It not only shines a spotlight on our restoration efforts but also underscores the Roxy’s significance as a versatile Performing Arts Center for our beloved community.”

The Roxy Theatre, erected in 1948 as a vibrant theatre and movie house, served as a cornerstone of cultural and entertainment life in Coleman until its closure in 2003.

Now, with passionate determination, restoration initiatives aim to breathe new life into the theatre’s historic façade, brickwork, doors and signage, envisioning a future where the Roxy becomes a dynamic hub for arts and culture.

“Through this competition, we help extend the life of these valued heritage places, and raise awareness of the social, environmental, economic and well-being benefits that they generate. I encourage everyone to get involved by voting in the Next Great Save,” said Dr. Patricia Kell, Executive Director of the National Trust.

Bradley emphasized the pivotal role of community support in clinching victory in the competition.

“Our immediate focus is rallying local residents to champion our cause through voting. We’re launching the Roxy campaign, urging individuals to cast their vote every day from April 18 to May 6,” he said, “With the unwavering support of our community and beyond, we can transform the Roxy Theatre from a dream into a reality.”

Beyond its cultural significance, the restoration of the Roxy Theatre carries profound economic implications. By revitalizing historic downtown Coleman, the Roxy Theatre hopes to invigorate tourism, bolster local businesses, and provide a dynamic venue for diverse cultural events and performances.

Online public voting for The Next Great Save competition is slated to unfold from April 18 to May 6 on the National Trust’s competition website. Members of the public are encouraged to exercise their voting rights once per day in support of their cherished historic landmarks. The grand announcement of the winner and runners-up is scheduled for May 7.

For those eager to learn more about the Roxy Theatre and extend their support through voting, information is available on the Roxy Theatre’s Facebook page and Instagram account. The Roxy Campaign team urges everyone to unite in backing this vital heritage preservation initiative.

“Together we can do this. We can make it happen,” said Bradley.

The Roxy Theatre’s nomination stands as a testament to the enduring signifi-cance of historic landmarks in shaping communities and preserving cultural heritage.

With sponsorship from Ecclesiastical Insurance, the first-place winner will re-ceive a $50,000 cash prize while the second and third place winners will receive $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

“This is an exciting way to raise awareness of great historical places across Can-ada”, said David Huebel, President, Ecclesiastical Insurance, “The Next Great Save competition will support a deserving project and give new life to a worthy heritage place in our community.”

Through this competition along with other preservation efforts, the National Trust has supported 932 non-profits working in heritage to grow their capacity in fundraising, business planning, marketing and tourism by providing coaching, tools and resources.

“Heritage conservation is about meeting the needs of communities today and tomorrow, not just preserving something that existed in the past. These projects demonstrate how heritage can enhance communities by supporting economic de-velopment, community gathering, entertainment, and education. Each is led by a passionate group who care deeply about the future of their historic place and com-munity,” said Dr. Kell.

Online public voting will take place between April 18 and May 6 on the National Trust’s competition website, and members of the public can vote once per day to support the projects they are passionate about. The winner and runners-up will be announced on May 7.

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