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Prince George Playhouse safe, city says

A 20-foot-tall stage panel came loose, but has been reattached, a city spokesperson said.
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Wooden hoarding covers the damaged western side of the Prince George Playhouse's fly tower in Citizen file photo.

The Prince George Playhouse is safe to use, according to a statement released by the city.

On Monday night, Prince George Folkfest Society treasurer and marking manager Aidyl Jago told city council that the theatre is unsafe, and one of the theatre’s baffle walls nearly fell on a Coldsnap performer.

“No structural walls at the Prince George Playhouse collapsed during a Coldsnap festival. Proscenium ‘walls’ (actually panels measuring three feet wide by 20 feet high) were installed several years ago to address stage sightline issues,” a city spokesperson said in an email. “One of these panels came loose and has since been securely reattached.”

Jago also raised concerns about wind and snow blowing into the backstage area of the building during a show.

“The City has not been informed of any specific snow issues but notes there was heavy snowfall and strong winds during the event and when the stage door or load-in door opens, gusts of freezing wind may enter the building,” the city statement said. “The City is aware the playhouse has some issues with the exterior building envelope. Considerable repairs were completed in 2021 and staff are continuing to monitor the building and will take further action as needed.”

Coldsnap executive director Sue Judge said the purpose of Monday’s presentation was to promote the success of the festival.

“Presentation of live events has taken quite a beating the past few years, and we just wanted to report that Coldsnap, which was held between January 27 and February 4, was a great positive event for the City of Prince George,” Judge said in an email. “The remarks that were reported were not part of our presentation, but was an informal response to a question asked by one of the city councillors and part a broader conversation regarding available performance venues in the city.”