Drayton unveils plans for theatre

By  | February 5, 2011 | 56 Comments | Filed under: Local News

An artist rendering of the new 500 seat performing art theatre to be built on Grand Ave.

The plans for Drayton Theatre on Grand Ave. were unveiled today at the Cambridge centre for the Arts to a large and enthusiastic crowd. The 59,000 sq ft., 500 seat theatre is scheduled to break ground in June

A large crowd gathers for the unveiling

Drayton EntertainmentArtistic Director Alex Mustakas adresses the crowd

Mayor Craig and members of council at the unveiling

56 Responses to Drayton unveils plans for theatre

  1. Scotty Moffatt February 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    In the picture of the council, do you notice that the stomach sizes seem to decrease from right to left?

  2. Carl Gazzola February 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Drayton will help Cambridge expand its tax base which will generate more revenue for sewers and potholes

  3. Penny Gowing February 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing some of the good productions that the Drayton Theater company is known for.

  4. Terry Provenza February 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Does Cambridge have a glass fetish? Really, the Hespeler Library,the New City Hall and now drayton? Just wondering.

  5. Allan Dettweiler February 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Carl, your thinking is good in theory.
    Problem is that Mayor Craig and his present council are not finished coming up with ideas to spend even more money on.
    Karl Kiefer has big ideas for a convention centre. I doubt there will be much money for potholes and pipes.

  6. Facetious Lee February 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    How come Nicholas is the only one wearing a “dog tag”?

  7. Harold Fontaine February 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    So he doesn’t get lost?

  8. Jimm Hillis February 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    And you can vote in our poll and let the council know how you feel, right now it is running 65% in favor.

  9. scot February 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I recieved this from Ben Tucci. It’s also posted under the other Drayton thread.
    Please feel free to quote me as follows;

    The liability, in our case $6 Million is a large figure and would upset even me if all we had was the liability. Similar to all financial statements though, there is more to it than just the liability. There is the asset side of the balance sheet, the cash flow and the income statement. The assets are what are in part purchased using the liability. In our case, we will own a $14 Million asset in the facility in return for our $6 Million liability. Right from the start there is $8 Million in “free” equity that accrues to the City. The cash flow is what is derived when you use the asset to generate cash. In our case, there will be cash flow generated via tourism dollars, meals, hotel stays, shopping and new taxes as there is bound to be spin off residential and business growth as a result of this investment. The income statement is a reflection of how well the asset drives the returns on our investment. The net income flows to the City by way of the spin off residential and business growth. This will help retire the debt over time. The best part of this is that over a number of years, you will still have the asset (arguably worth considerably more than $14 Million you started with), you will still be generating the income and cash flow (at arguably bigger numbers) yet, the debt will have been retired. If people would take the time to think about our investment this way, there would be even less naysayers. Unfortunately, there are those that will object regardless of the merits of our case. To those people I say, let the theatre and it’s favourable contribution to this City speak for itself.
    Regards, BEN

  10. Brett Hagey February 13, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Glad to see our new civic buildings are keeping our city’s traditional architecture guidelines in perspective; A City Hall that looks like a giant radiator from the outside, and a theatre resembling a toaster oven.

    Glass and Steel boxes, like we need more of those, whatever happened to stone, marble, and real architecture?

  11. Jimm Hillis February 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I want a job as a window cleaner for the City, I’ll never be out of work!

  12. scot February 13, 2011 at 11:30 am


  13. Brett Hagey February 13, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Keep a few cans of Tremclad handy Jimm, in 15 years you’ll be busy keeping the rust at bay as well.

  14. Brett Hagey February 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Oh, Terry thanks for reminding me about the Borg Cube in Hespeler, I forgot about that Poster Child for Windex, as well.

    I guess Resistance *Is* Futile, long live glass and steel lol

  15. scot February 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Hmmm…doug Craig as a Borg? h Oh, I feel a cartoon coming on…Damn you Brett, I really needed something else to do! I know that this will niggle at me now until I make council into Borgs, I won’t be able to sleep…resistance is futile.

  16. Gord Hobbs February 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I feel compelled to reply to Ben Tucci’s claims of economic benefit.

    The $6 million from Cambridge taxpayers is the tip of the iceberg. There’s a $2 million parking lot that is the designated site for the Drayton Theatre. Another $12 million from Canadian (or Cambridge) taxpayers is involved, using Provincial and Federal contributions. So we don’t have a “free” $8 million, we actually have a starting deficit of $20 million which nets Cambridge a $14 million building, i.e. we’re already down $6 million. That’s the initial subsidy to Drayton Entertainment.

    Then we’re subsidizing the theatre company by providing free rent, which, for a 59,000 sq.ft. building in the downtown core, should be about $100,000 per month. (This is based on the minimum required annual rate of return of 8% on an investment of $14 million.) So, the City has completely ignored the real cost of inviting Drayton Entertainment to town. Then there’s the issue of what to do with the building when Drayton Entertainment discovers they can’t make a go of it. And on and on… There are too many unknowns in this project.

    Finally, and this is MY major concern, Cambridge is in debt yet should be dealing with $130 million backlog in renewing our infrastructure (water mains, sewers, roads) while property taxes increase at twice the rate of inflation. Priorities are skewed. We need rational thinking at City Hall, and it appears to be missing.

    For all you concerned Cambridge residents, please show up at the City Council meeting at 5:00 PM on Monday March 7, 2011 and let our elected representatives know that we’re not interested in paying for a theatre company’s free occupancy of a potential white elephant right now.

  17. scot February 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Gord, once again, spending on The Arts has absoluteley sweet dick all to do with spending on infrastructure. The per diem expenditure on art is half that of Kitchener.(Damn, you people are thick, freaking rednecks)
    Drayton has a proven track record.
    Ther spinoff income willl more than compensate for “lost rent”
    The “$2 million parking lot that is the designated site for the Drayton Theatre” will still be owned by the city, and that piece of land is contaminated and isn’t much good for anything else without extensive rehabilitation.

  18. Fred Woodson February 14, 2011 at 10:50 am

    From the Drayton Site

    Award-winning Drayton Entertainment produces the finest in live theatre at six historic venues in unique Ontario communities. Each theatre maintains its own distinct identity, but at the same time successfully combines the energies and strengths of all six, in order to provide an experience that is unparalleled.

    The stage for success was first set in 1991, with the launch of the Drayton Festival Theatre. Under the tutelage of founding and current Artistic Director Alex Mustakas, the theatre was an immediate triumph.

    As popularity continued to grow, in 1997 a second stage was added in St. Jacobs – the Schoolhouse Theatre.

    The King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene followed suit in 1999. Nestled within Discovery Harbour on picturesque Georgian Bay, the rustic theatre was a perfect complement with the venues in Drayton and St. Jacobs.

    With 30 seasons under its belt, Huron Country Playhouse and its intimate second stage, Playhouse II , joined the Drayton Entertainment family of theatres in 2001.

    Located in the heart of Waterloo Region’s Market District, the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse opened to instant acclaim in 2005.

    With an anticipated 2012 opening, a new venue in Cambridge is on the horizon, which promises to expand the signature Drayton ExperienceTM to new audiences.

    Drayton Entertainment’s ever-evolving business model provides protection from the inherent fragility of the theatre industry, while still providing an outlet for growth and prosperity. This has positive implications for artists, designers, sponsors, advertisers, and most importantly, theatre patrons – all of whom enjoy enhanced opportunities both on and off the stage.

    By successfully balancing the competing demands of quality productions, fiscal responsibility, and community integrity, Drayton Entertainment has emerged as a true innovator and leader for arts and culture in Canada.
    “The enduring success of Drayton Entertainment’s productions is a tribute to this company’s hard work and dedication to artistic excellence.”
    Premier Dalton McGuinty

    Drayton Entertainment gratefully acknowledges the support of:

    The Ontario Trillium Foundation logo
    A Few Facts About Drayton Entertainment

    What started off as a fledgling theatre in the village of Drayton, Ontario has grown into a national phenomenon in Canadian Theatre. Over the years the organization has grown to include 6 theatres (Drayton Festival Theatre, Drayton; Huron Country Playhouse and Playhouse II , Grand Bend; King’s Wharf Theatre, Penetanguishene; Schoolhouse Theatre, St. Jacobs; and the new St. Jacobs Country Playhouse).

    The 1991 inaugural season at the Drayton Festival Theatre entertained 14,592 patrons.

    Projected attendance for the 2010 season is 200,000 (representing 80% capacity), making Drayton Entertainment the third-largest professional summer theatre company in Canada, just after Stratford and Shaw.
    Drayton Entertainment is recognized by the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association as the 7th largest employer of its members in Canada.

    Drayton Entertainment is the proud recipient of an unprecedented 6 Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for the Arts – a prestigious honour bestowed on arts organizations that exemplify outstanding private sector and community support.

    Drayton Entertainment is supported by its extensive network of 3,000 Members, which enables the organization to close the gap between ticket revenue and production and administration expenses. This enables the organization to produce the finest in professional lighthearted entertainment at a reasonable price for all to enjoy.

    Drayton Entertainment boasts over 4,200 Subscribers who each purchase between 4 and 10 show subscriptions for various productions at Drayton Entertainment venues.

    Drayton Entertainment was founded on volunteerism, and that strong sense of community involvement is still apparent today, with volunteer activity exceeding 30,000 hours each year.

    Drayton Entertainment believes in giving back to the communities in which it operates, and each year donates over 2,000 tickets to over 750 charities for their own fundraising efforts. This includes the United Way, community sports teams and high schools, rotary clubs and legion branches.
    2010 Season statistics for each Drayton Entertainment venue:

    St. Jacobs Country Playhouse – 20-week season featuring 5 productions and 160 performances
    Schoolhouse Theatre – 15-week season featuring 1 production and 120 performances
    Drayton Festival Theatre – 18-week season featuring 5 productions and 143 performances
    Huron Country Playhouse – 16-week season featuring 5 productions and 124 performances
    Playhouse II – 5-week season featuring 1 production and 38 performances
    King’s Wharf Theatre – 13-week season featuring 4 productions and 104 performances.
    Grand Total: 21 productions and 689 performances spanning a full calendar year

  19. Allan Dettweiler February 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Who is the redneck???
    Whether spending is for the arts or for infrastructure, it comes from the same taxpayer!!!!!!!!!!! Scot, let me remind you again, as others have before, – Kitchener and Waterloo who are spending all this money on the arts are having to subsidize it every year. I do expect Drayton will do better – but we’ll have to wait and see.
    There are some citizens of Cambridge who are tenants – not paying property taxes.
    Funny thing, its these people who are whining the loudest wanting more funding for things such as the arts and for the LRT.
    I’d like to see them lining up and handing over some of their own money.

  20. Allan Dettweiler February 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Fred, Drayton has a wonderful track record.
    So, let them build their own theatre. They should be able to afford it.
    I’ll be happy to contribute some of my own money.

  21. scot February 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Tenants pay rent, which goes to property tax.
    “Whether spending is for the arts or for infrastructure, it comes from the same taxpayer” Correct, it comes from the same taxpayer but it is for something completely different. The City has to allocate money for different things, and putting money into the arts doesn’t mean that something else is going to do without.

  22. Fred Woodson February 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

    To compare the Waterloo Glass museum to drayton is wrong. It has a limited appeal as it delves into mainly one theme while drayton is a theatre not a museum. The Center in the square is a stand alone operation and is an overly ambitious project that has over the years tries to compete with bigger venues by bringing in musical acts that cost a lot more to put on, plus unlike Drayton, the center is not available for the public to use as drayton intends to be. I agree the use of the term “redneck” is improper. And how do you know it is just tenants that want this? I am a home owner and want it so don’t I count?

  23. scot February 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Drayton won’t own the theatre, or the land. The city will retain ownership.
    That’s why Drayton won’t build their own theatre, because “The Theatre” isn’t theirs, they are going to use “our” theatre.

  24. Fred Woodson February 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    And the City owns thew building and can use it when needed, Drayton is “just a tenant” as you say.

  25. Jimm Hillis February 14, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I sure hope “RENT” isn’t their first production.

  26. scot February 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Maybe the term “redneck” was improper;I should have been more specific. How ‘beer drinking, country singing redneck ignorami who think that art is a velvet painting of Elvis.
    Lamebridge has never lost its working class mentality, and has neglected the arts for years. The arts are an easy target for perople to bitch about.

  27. Facetious Lee February 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Scot, you should move to where the grass is greener, and the grass is free.
    Where the skies are bluer – or perhaps psychedelic.
    I know you are not happy here. You are too much of a visionary for Cambridge. We don’t deserve to be in your pre sense.
    Yes, move to a land of arts and culture. You deserve to be happy happy.

  28. scot February 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    My family helped forge this village, we have been in Galt since 1850. I’m not going anywhere.

  29. scot February 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    The rest of you are immigrants!

  30. Brett Hagey February 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Hageys were here 1802, bro. gotcha beat by a couple generations lol

  31. Allan Dettweiler February 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I tried to see if I could beat you Brett. My Dettweiler ancestors came in 1810. My Bechtel ancestors came in 1802 – so we have a tie.
    My source says the Hageys came in 1822, however your Bricker ancestors came in 1802.
    Anyhow, I don’t know what took Scot’s ancestors so long to get here.

  32. scot February 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Came to Galt?

  33. Brett Hagey February 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Aw, yes the Brickers. I think they built the first sh*thouse factory in these parts, a product famous to this day.

  34. Allan Dettweiler February 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Heck no, Galt was where the Scots settled. The Scots were darn good masons.
    Mine and Brett’s ancestors settled in the Blair, Preston and Hespeler areas.

  35. Micheal Branthover February 28, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    I support Drayton and believe in it. It is time Cambridge stepped into this century with all guns firing

  36. Scotty Moffatt March 1, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I agree with you, enough of the chicken Little attitude in Cambridge lets be at the forefront of Waterloo Region not at it’s ass end.

  37. Facetious Lee March 1, 2011 at 1:57 am

    At the forefront, and up to our necks in debt!
    Someday we can erect a plaque in a run down City Hall with King Doug’s photo on it showing he was the fella that started us on the path to financial destitution.

  38. scot March 1, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Once again Lee, the theatre will be paying dividends before the loan is due.
    The people who are bitching and whining about Drayton are the same ones who complained about The School of Archtecture.
    Do you think the S of A is “on the path to financial destitution?”
    That was another of doug Craig “projects.”

  39. Facetious Lee March 1, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Oh, now you are trying to piss me off.
    That was another 5 or 6 million dollars King Craig and his Council pissed away on us.
    For what? What did we get out of it?
    A nicely restored building. Students who spend some money in the community, but I don’t get back any of that money. Did my taxes go down since the School of Architecture came to town? NO!
    In fact, we went from being a community with no debt, to a community that is now borrowing money to fund King Craig’s legacy.
    And the money we in Cambridge spent on the S of A is only the tip of the iceberg. Once again, just as with Drayton, the Province and the Feds reached into the other pockets in my jeans to acquire some more of my hard earned money.
    Tell you what Mr. Scot. I’m going to give you a challenge. You are either a smart man – or perhaps you just pretend to be. Let’s find out.
    Why don’t you prove what you are made of? Why don’t you set down your pen and go out and do something beneficial for this community.
    Why don’t you start something to benefit this community? Go out and find some other like-minded people who agree with you. Dig deep into YOUR OWN pockets and do something to make some positive change for this community. And, if it is something good, even I will reach voluntarily into my own pockets and make a contribution.
    So, get going! The city needs visionaries like yourself.
    But, I’m willing to bet, AND I COULD BE WRONG, that you are incapable of coming up with ideas that don’t need government funding.
    Your type knows how to spend other’s money – but you hate to spend your own.
    YOU HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED. ARE YOU UP TO IT? Let’s begin by having you tell all the fine readers of THE CITIZEN something you would like to see happen in this City. Something we all need to get behind and make happen.
    I’ll bet you can’t – or won’t, do it. You are not made of the right stuff.
    I’d be delighted if you proved me wrong!!!

  40. Facetious Lee March 1, 2011 at 8:29 am

    testing, testing. I just made a posting – it disappeared into a black hole.

  41. Facetious Lee March 1, 2011 at 8:47 am

    OK Scot, here we go again.
    I’m thilled you brought up the School of Architecture.
    Another 5 or 6 million dollars of taxpayer’s hard earned money were pissed away on that cause. For what? What did taxpayers get out of it? Well, if you are a shop owner, or perhaps a landlord, maybe you saw some return on your “investment”.
    But what did the ordinary taxpayer receive in return? Nada! Nothing! Zilch! Zip! Squat!
    Back at the time the S of A thing started, our city was debt free.
    But now that King Craig and the Councillors believe they know better than taxpayers how to spend their own money, we have started down the path to financial destitution. We are no longer debt free. And Dougie and the Councillors are not done! Just you wait and see. They have even more ideas to spend our money on!
    Tell you what, Mr. Scot. Let’s see if you are as clever as you think you are. I’m going to give you a challenge. Let’s see what you are made of.
    I’m betting you can think of all kinds of things this city needs in order to keep up with the other cities that surround us.
    Why don’t you tell us something this city is lacking? Something we desperately need to be a great city. Gather together other visionaries like yourself and go out and make it happen. Reach into your own pockets, and pay for it. And, if I believe it is a good idea, I will reach into my pockets and help along. I’m sure any idea you come up with will be such a fine idea, other citizens of Cambridge will be willing to contribute as well.
    But, I don’t think you are up to it. I believe that while you are very good with a “pen”, you have no idea how to make something good happen in this community – unless you can spend the money of others.
    So Mr. Scot. What does this community need. What can you do to make this community happen. Remember! No tax dollars.
    Bet you can’t do it. Your type is simply not made of the right stuff.

  42. Vrbanovic March 1, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I agree with Scot. I have no kids and have no use for an arena, so i don’t want my tax dollars going to keep them running. I don’t have a dog and don’t want to help fund a park for others to walk their dogs. And since both my parents live elsewhere I don’t want to see my tax dollars fund any senior centers as I don’t use them either and so on and so on, just because you don’t like something does not mean that others don’t. If we went with the no spend policy we would become nothing more than a community of people that spend money elsewhere and just sleep in Cambridge and I for one do not want that. I want a vibrant community with attractions that not only brings people in but allows us to spend money in our own community. The lets not spend any money on projects I don’t want crowd forgets that there are more than just them in Cambridge and I would bet that most of the people doing the yelling and screaming are over 45 and not thinking about the future, they are just thinking about themselves and their own little lives. And that is all i have to say on this. Now you can go back to your Jeff Dunham videos.

  43. Facetious Lee March 1, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Wow, my first posting appeared! Like magic.
    If this happens in the future, I will be a little more patient.

  44. scot March 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

    LMFAO!!! Who do you think pays to keep The Citizen running? Do you think this site is free? There’s also the mag we are publishing, which is being paid for from my factory job. There’s also the book I spent considerable time and money on, which is in all the Cambridge High Schools now, commemerating local veterans. I also published a magazine for local youth, Dreams Come True, again at considerable cost to me.
    I have had no government funding.You are a typical redneck, Lee. shooting your mouth off without a clue what you are talking about.
    I have paid my dues as a starving artist, and i want to make it easier for those who follow.

  45. Facetious Lee March 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Well Mr. Vrbanovic. If I was the king of the world, I wouldn’t fund dog parks either.
    As for senior’s centres – I would make a voluntarily contribution. Afterall, I’m getting close to being a senior myself.
    All new arenas would be funded with money raised in the community.
    If King Craig were to announce that the City was going to fund any worthwhile idea that taxpayers could come up with, how many ideas would come forth? Plenty of ideas I think.
    But, we just can’t afford everything. We are in tough times. Once again I will remind everyone that our pipes are leaking.
    Reality kids, reality please.

  46. Jimm Hillis March 1, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow. Oscar Wilde

  47. Facetious Lee March 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Scot, so I am a “typical Redneck”?
    And you of course are not.
    You are the opposite.
    Just so I can label you – are you a left-wing Pinko?

  48. scot March 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    yup, that’s me.

  49. Jimm Hillis March 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    You want a Redneck? I’ll show you some rednecks
    Hespeler Rednecks!http://cooperstreetrelic.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/hespeler-rednecks-2/

  50. Vrbanovic March 1, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I gather one of them is you?

  51. Zetiv Eibbed March 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Until a new election is called in the city Drayton should not be voted on. The Mayor and his council are breaking the trust with the real citizens of this city by allowing Drayton. No money should be spent on any arts program. If you want a useless theatre than pay for it out of your pocket not mine.

  52. scot March 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    So Lee, are you delighted to be “Proved wrong?”
    It’s good to know that you are going to dig into your own pocket and help, lmao!!Keep your pittance for a new country cd.

  53. Facetious Lee March 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I was just being the “devil’s advocate”.
    Hmmm, where have I heard that????

  54. Facetious Lee March 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    WHat’s with these delayed postings????

  55. scot March 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Lee, I’m sitting with Jimm right now, you are not blocked, we’ll check the spam catcher.
    you are way too much fun to play with, I wouldn’t delay that for a second.

  56. on the fence March 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Wow this has become a real battle ground for a discussion on the performing arts. I want to say that as a taxpayer and citizen of Cambridge i feel that council must go ahead with this project. My personal believe is that most ordinary citizens have no idea what is good for there community, especially when it comes to long term goals. Futher more, this is why we have a free democratic voting system. If the people of Cambridge did not like what council is doing then why only 5 short months ago did we re-elect “King Craig” and his cronies back in. In my understanding this project did not suddenly appear on the horizon yesterday. This was a plan that was made long before our most recent elections. If the overwhelming numbers of people did not like what Mayor Craig was up to, them why did Linda Whetham not make the grade? Funny on reflecting back on this same site on the 26th of July 2010, there was a poll on whether Drayton was a good or bad idea. The results said that over 66% of people were on board. I love Cambridge, it is a beautiful place to live, but the lack engaging activities is terrible. I love hockey too, but maybe i am a true renaissance man but i feel that have more optoin is better. Cambridge is actually a very diverse community and this will help highlight our community as a place to be. As a sailor i believe If you are too afraid to lose sight of land you will never explore new territory.

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