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Theatre groundbreaking

The official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Valley First Community Arts Centre was held Tuesday in Penticton.

Construction on phase one of the centre, the former Penmar Theatre on Martin Street, is slated to start this Thursday.

"We are happy to announce the commencement of our construction within the building, which is very exciting stuff," said spokeswoman Jennifer Vincent.

Other announcements included naming the general manager for the centre, Iain MacIntyre, and the launch of the sponsorship and membership drive, as well as announcing the second major sponsor, Meiklejohn Architects Inc.

The first phase of the construction will include the lobby and two smaller theatres, then the big theatre and green room.

Phase two is further development of the larger auditorium to include the mezzanine with balcony seating and then expansion into the parking lot, which will include a black box theatre, brand new washrooms and further additions to green room amenities.

Several dignitaries, as well as those behind making the project a reality, were on hand at the ceremony held outside the centre.

The cost of the first phase is estimated to be less than $500,000.

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