Groundbreaking Agreement Reached to Restore Regent Theatre and Guarantee 1000 Live Performances



    OSHAWA, ON, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - In times when historic vaudeville/movie
houses are routinely demolished, Oshawa's Regent Theatre will be spared the
wrecking ball, thanks to a unique deal approved by Oshawa City Council. On
Monday Sept 24th, Council supported an agreement to sell the theatre to
impresario Glyn Laverick, who operates The Music Hall in Toronto, in exchange
for a secured commitment to restore and reopen the dilapidated venue that has
been sitting dormant for seven years.
    Councillor Louise Parkes, who introduced Mr. Laverick to Council in July
and kick-started negotiations with a Notice of Motion, stated that, "It is a
balanced agreement that guarantees the historic restoration of the Regent's
façade and interior with a guarantee of 1,000 live performances over a period
of ten years."
    "This strategic alliance will allow me to renovate the theatre and
program theatrical events that will fill a void in Oshawa's cultural scene,"
said Laverick. "The combination of my experience and the support of City
Council will ensure that the people of Oshawa will be the beneficiaries of
great family entertainment for years to come."
    Councillor Parkes has long been an advocate of the Regent Theatre Renewal
Project since she ran her first election campaign in 2000 to save the theatre
from demolition. "Every city the size of Oshawa deserves a place where
citizens can experience the arts at a local level, "she said. "My constituents
have been very vocal about their support for the theatre and I have been
listening."
    Parkes noted that a special working committee established by Council in
July expedited this project. "It is so much better when all parties sit around
a table and communicate while working out the details together. I am proud to
be part of this new approach to business here at City Hall," said Parkes, who
was the Council representative on the working committee.
    Mr. Laverick agreed that the working committee was instrumental in
orchestrating the Regent Theatre deal. Oshawa was recently reported as the
best city in Ontario in which to do business. "I can say from my experience
that Oshawa is a city with great potential, and I look forward to bringing my
business to Oshawa." Laverick explained. "I was also pleasantly surprised by
the positive reception I received by the community, and quite frankly, I was
overwhelmed by the show of support from the people of Oshawa for the Regent
Theatre Renewal Project."
    Shortly, upon closing, Mr. Laverick will begin work on the facade and
interior of the theatre for completion in February and December 2008
respectively. State of the art sound and lighting will be installed as well as
new seating for up to 700 patrons. Laverick has guaranteed the City that he
will host a minimum of 100 quality live events every year for a minimum of
10 years.
    Downtown Oshawa has been undergoing a renaissance of late that began with
the construction of a new OHL arena, the General Motors Centre, and an
announcement by the Provincial Government to build a Consolidated Court House.
The restoration of the theatre will coincide with the pending announcement of
a 40 million dollar hotel project in the heart of downtown Oshawa. Parkes
added exuberantly that, "It is a privilege to have had a hand in these
projects and to be part of a progressive Council that recognizes opportunities
and has the courage and discipline to follow through on their vision."





For further information:

For further information: Louise Parkes, City of Oshawa Councillor, Wards
5 & 6, lparkes@oshawa.ca, Cell: (905) 447-8758, (905) 436-5613; Mr. Glyn
Laverick, Chief Executive Officer, The Music Hall, 147 Danforth Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario, M4K 1N2, gl@danforthmusichall.ca, (416) 778-8272

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COUNCILLOR LOUISE PARKES

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