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Support for The Bernie Legge Theatre, home of the Vagabond Players

This petition had 1,034 supporters

Vagabond Players has been a part of New Westminster for over 80 years and has been proud to be located in Queens Park since 1950. We were left shocked to discover that the City of New Westminster has approved a proposal "in-principal" for the relocation of an outdoor skate park to the former Arenex building site, immediately adjacent to our home, The Bernie Legge Theatre.

We have evening performances at 8pm and 2pm matinees. Any noise from outside echoes and reverberates throughout our lobby and auditorium. We have benefited greatly from being at the quiet end of this family-friendly park. Up until last year, we were behind a gymnastics building known as the Arenex. In December 2016, the Arenex roof collapsed and the building was left a heap of rubble. Now, a year later, the Parks, Rec and Open Space Planners want to relocate The Mercer Skate Park to that site.

Our concerns are as follows:
#1. The noise from an unsupervised, outdoor facility will disrupt our performances;
#2. There is very limited parking for our senior patrons, those with disabilities and patrons with mobility issues. With the Skate Park, there will not be the opportunity to have any parking spaces closer to our building for convenience and accessibility;
#3. The maximum capacity of our lobby is 90 people but we often have sold-out performances with 130 patrons. With the proposed skate park, we will not have the opportunity to ever expand our lobby;
#4. Our senior patrons may be deterred from attending our performances if they have to contend with skaters speeding by them as they come and go from our theatre;
#5. Our building will be a prime target for graffiti;
#6. The theatre-in-the-park ambience depends on a sense of peace amid garden-like surroundings. Sheltered behind the Arenex, our theatre retained that ambience, but exposed beside a skateboard facility, that atmosphere will be completely destroyed;
#7. This location does not meet the needs of the skaters. The skaters wanted a location that was:
a. Accessible to Public Transportation - There are no bus stops in walking distance;
b. Highly Visible to the Public - The former Arenex site is darkly lit and only partially visible to the public during the day;
c. Close to a School - There are not any schools nearby;
d. Close to First Aid Services - There is not any access to First Aid Services;
e. Near Amenities to Purchase Food & Water - There are not any stores within walking distance at this location and the only public washrooms are within the Arena, when it is open;
f. A Safe Environment Open to Skaters of All-Ages - The City plans on keeping the Skate Park unsupervised, which means there will not be anyone looking out for the safety of the younger skaters.

We understand that the Mercer Skate Park needs to be relocated. We are not opposed to that. Neither would we be opposed to relocate the Skate Park to the corner of 6th avenue and McBride, a location that would meet the needs of the skaters. Relocating the skate park next to the theatre would be detrimental to our club. Please help us by signing and sharing this petition. Thank you to everyone who already has, we appreciate your support!

Today: Vagabond Players is counting on you

Vagabond Players needs your help with “Dear Mayor and Council: Do not build a Skate Park next to The Bernie Legge Theatre”. Join Vagabond Players and 1,033 supporters today.