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Magnus Theatre chooses builder for Next Stage expansion project

The $8.4 million project is set to begin, with completion scheduled for the spring of 2024

THUNDER BAY — Magnus Theatre has selected M Builds as the contractor for a major expansion and renovations project it calls The Next Stage.

M Builds, headquartered in Winnipeg but with offices in Thunder Bay, was chosen after a competitive procurement process.

The company will construct an addition to house a 125-seat studio theatre, and will expand the production shop, renovate the bar and lounge, and undertake other building improvements while maintaining the heritage features of the historic former Central School property.

Construction on the $8.4 million project will start in the coming weeks with site and foundation work.

In an announcement Wednesday, Magnus executive director Alexis Rowlinson said the theatre looks forward to working with M Builds and Form Studio Architects to complete the project.

"The opportunity to work with an experienced and committed local an important step toward the achievement of the project which will increase our economic and social impact and benefit the community for decades to come," she said.

The 51 year old organization is the only professional theatre in Northern Ontario.

Officials have said demand is growing exponentially for both programming and facility rentals.

M Builds partner Peter Belluz said his company intends to construct a facility that will serve Magnus and the Thunder Bay arts community well into the future.

"Many of the M Builds staff have been supporters of the theatre over the years, and we now look forward to working with the Magnus Theatre team, Form Studio Architects, consultants and subcontractors, to turn their vision of The Next Stage into reality."

The project is funded in part by the Government of Canada, FedNor, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Ontario Trillium Fund, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, and local business TBXI.

Completion is scheduled for the spring of 2024.


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