Ticket price not a donation, says auditorium committee

Carol Lyons, a member of the Community Auditorium Volunteer Committee, stepped forward last week to address queries over the $50 price tag for tickets for the gala grand opening of Townshend Theatre next week.
Featuring two shows by Natalie MacMaster and her Celtic band, the grand opening gets underway Monday, Sept. 20 with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. and then MacMaster’s first concert at 7 p.m.
Her second concert kicks off with a reception at 8:30 p.m., with the curtain going up at 9:30 p.m.
Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, including wine, champagne, and a non-alcoholic punch, will be served at both receptions.
“The cost of the ticket primarily covers the performance and the cost of the reception,” Lyons said, noting MacMaster and the 11 people she travels with must obtain their fees and travel expenses solely from the proceeds of the performances.
In order to cover costs, both performances must sell out.
“It is not a donation [to the auditorium],” Lyons stressed.
While the price here is higher than advance ticket prices of $27.50 and $22.50 for MacMaster’s upcoming concerts in Winnipeg and Brandon, Lyons said it isn’t out of line for someone of her calibre.
Theatre size also plays a big role in determining ticket prices, she noted.
“I believe the Winnipeg theatre has 1,200 seats and the one in Brandon has 1,000. If you break down ticket prices over the number of seats, that’s why they cost less [there],” she reasoned.
Townshend Theatre only holds 434 seats, making individual seats considerably more expensive than those in very large theatres, Lyons argued.
Lyons also noted the volunteer committee would host an appreciation concert, including a celebration reception, within the next month at no charge for those who have supported the theatre through donations and pledges over the past few years.
Through fundraising, the volunteer committee has raised $540,000 of its $570,000 commitment towards the new Townshend Theatre.