Work advanced in restoration of Ward Theatre, says mayor

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Work advanced in restoration of Ward Theatre, says mayor

Thursday, December 05, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Mayor of Kingston, Delroy Williams, says work is advanced on the rehabilitation of the historic Ward Theatre to facilitate its reopening in 2020.

“We will complete the project towards the end of next year and we will have an event… inside this theatre,” the Mayor said during a tour of the venue located in downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (December 4).

The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) isspearheading the restoration of the 107-year old theatre, which represents an important store of cultural value and heritage.

Work started in 2017 and, to date, repairs have been completedon the roof, cafeteria, changing rooms and restrooms, the hospitality area, among others. New windows and sound system have been installed and seating purchased.

Mayor Williams said that the stage is the main area of work left to be done, noting that some $300 million will be spent to rebuild and fit the stage.

He is welcoming support for the project, “so that when we reopen the theatre it will be the spectacle that we are envisioning”.

Williams said that theKSAMC is committing to restoring the Ward Theatre in recognition of its value in nurturing creativity within young people and channelling that creativity into problem-solving.

“We have to nurture and give full expression to the creative faculties in Kingston and St Andrew, and the theatre is symbolic of that,” he said.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge, who was on the tour, lauded the work being done to rehabilitate the historic theatre.

“What the Ward Theatre has meant to the young creative is that it has provided a space for them to hone their skills, to hone their talents, and it has been a platform from which all great Jamaican cultural icons emanated,” the State Minister said.

The Ward Theatre was presented as a gift to the city of Kingston in 1912 by then Custos of Kingston, Colonel Charles Ward.

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