Canby Theater project gets boost from Ottertail

MARSHALL – Otter Tail Power Company recently announced a $10,000 grant for the Canby Theater Project from its corporate giving program.

Fundraising for the Canby Theater restoration project started shortly after the city acquired the classic building in January. The building is sound but needs some renovation of floors and ceilings, new seating and modern digital projection equipment.

“We’ve always had a connection with Canby,” said Cris Oehler, vice-president of public relations for Otter Tail. “We have a service representative, a line crew and a substation tech who work out of Canby. Our charitable giving policy includes arts and community enhancement, so this was a chance to give back to Canby.”

According to Canby City Administrator Nicholas Johnson total cost for the restoration work amounts to about $276,000, of which $35,000 has already been raised.

Sanford Health has pledged $1,000 per year for five years, and the Minnesota State Department of Administration has just confirmed a grant for 35 percent of the cost of digital conversion.

“We’re still in talks with the Minnesota Historical Society for a grant for exterior renovation for the marquee,” Johnson said. “We’re also selling sponsorships for seats for $200. We’re going from 400 seats to 180, from old college auditorium style to contemporary.”

Donors will have the option to sponsor a seat and have a plaque mounted on it with their name, their business or the name of someone they wish to memorialize.

All donations are tax deductible and the city will provide a tax form for donations of more than $250, Johnson said.