Phone : 902-275-3933 

Exterior image of the playhouse. A three story blue/grey building with white balcony and wooden stairs along the right hand side.

Rebuild Update – Spring 2023

We are excited to share with you today the latest news about the Chester Playhouse rebuilding project. In this brief update, we will cover construction progress, funding, and reopening plans.


The new Playhouse has been under construction since June 2022, and we are making great progress.  This is a complex building due to the extensive fire protection measures and the significant technical theatre infrastructure. These factors add to the schedule and are the most significant drivers of the cost increases we have experienced. If all deliveries remain on track, we plan to move staff into the Playhouse by the end of June and begin to prepare the Playhouse for reopening.


Many of our donors became involved at the outset of the initial building restoration project, which was expected to cost $1.4 million at the time of the fire. Post-fire, the initial estimate for rebuilding was $3.0 million. This estimate allowed for upgraded building systems and enhanced accessibility along with absorbing the cost of demolition and cleanup. However, this budget was set prior to the outcome of detailed engineering for the special fire protection systems which are now required, the decision to upgrade all theatre performance systems to enhance the audience experience, and the significant general inflation in construction costs. These factors have added $1.2 million to the total project cost increasing the total project budget to $4.2 million.

We are pleased to share the information that our government partners have remained steadfast supporters of this project and have recently come to the table with supplemental funding to help ensure project success. The Municipality of Chester, Federal Department of Heritage, ACOA, and the Province of Nova Scotia heard our strong message that the community has remained generous in its support of our ongoing operating costs and that we did not want to impose an additional capital campaign on our donors, given the needs of other organizations in the area. This message was underscored by the success of “Playhouse without Walls”.  All this is to say that the rebuilding of the Playhouse is funded.  And we are relieved!


The long journey will end this summer, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you! As we move to re-open the building, expect a series of “sneak peaks” as we warm-up for a grand celebration that will welcome the whole community to discover what hard work, and your support, have built.  Together, we will fill the streets with music and laughter, in an exciting housewarming that will introducer your new Playhouse, and kick off an exciting season of “With Walls” programming.  Please plan to join us in celebration on the weekend of August 26th, and stayed tuned for details.

We can’t wait to show you your new Playhouse.

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