KAWARTHA LAKES-FLATO Developments Inc. and Lindsay’s Academy Theatre in Lindsay announced a new partnership today that provides a significant investment in Lindsay’s performing arts community.
Flato says it will be donating $1.375 million over 15 years which will be used to support the theatre’s long-term growth and sustained revitalization. This donation comes at a time when the arts community has been hard-hit by the economic impact of COVID-19.
“At FLATO, we believe in investing in the communities we serve and we look for opportunities to make the community better for everyone,” said Shakir Rehmatullah, President of FLATO. “In creating this partnership, we are proud to support Lindsay’s arts community and invest in this iconic theatre, which is an integral thread in the fabric of the area and is essential to making the City of Kawartha Lakes such a wonderful place to live, work and visit.”
For more than a century, the historic Academy Theatre has been an anchor in the downtown Lindsay community. This intimate space brings together tens of thousands of tourists, community members and aspiring young artists each year. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy Theatre for Performing Arts welcomed 20,000 visitors and close to one hundred performances a year.
“The Academy Theatre is more than just a venue. With year-round programming that inspires, educates and celebrates some of the most talented local and international entertainers, we truly offer something for everyone,” said Mike Piggott, Board Chairman at the FLATO Academy Theatre Lindsay. “This investment recognizes the social, cultural and economic benefits of having such an esteemed venue in the community and we are thrilled to be working with Shakir and his team at FLATO. We’re excited to see the theatre thrive in the years ahead.”
According to the theatre’s board of directors, the donation’s initial allocation will be used to fund priority capital improvements, while the sustained annual funding commitment will help maintain and enhance theatre operations and programming. This substantial investment will help the theatre recover and provide a longer-term horizon for planning.
“This exciting news comes at a time when our arts and culture community is struggling to rebound from the pandemic,” said Andy Letham, Kawartha Lakes Mayor. “The long-term investment by FLATO will be appreciated by residents across Kawartha Lakes and visitors who frequent the Academy Theatre. It’s a great example of community-building.”
FLATO Developments Inc. is a builder of both residential and mixed-use communities. FLATO is looking to build two new communities in the City of Kawartha Lakes with one in Lindsay and one in Cameron.
The donation also comes with naming rights to the theatre which will be called Flato Academy Theatre.