‘It kills our bottom line’: Churchill Square construction affecting nearby art organizations

EDMONTON — Major art organizations near Churchill Square say years-long construction is affecting attendance and revenue in the area.

Attendance at the Art Gallery of Alberta is down about 20 per cent since 2017 despite having free admission for students, and to the general public on Thursdays.

“Things are really changing every day almost in terms of what streets are open, what streets are closed,” Art Gallery of Alberta Executive Director Catherine Crowston told CTV News Edmonton. “Sometimes it’s just easier to stay home.”

The Citadel Theatre has also experienced a decrease in attendance and a 30 per cent drop in ticket sales. Its executive director directly blamed construction.

“It’s a million-dollar drop year over year,” said Chantelle Ghosh, the Citadel’s executive director. “It kills our bottom line.”

Ghosh did say it will be “wonderful” to have a new library and an enhanced square.

The Art Gallery of Alberta is asking the City of Edmonton for approximately $250,000 to continue to offer free admission programs, but Crowston is also hoping the end of construction will bring things back to normal.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jeremy Thompson