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Feds invest $485,000 in Annapolis Royal's King's Theatre –




The federal government is investing $485,000 in Annapolis Royal’s historic King’s Theatre to help upgrade the physical building and website.

Maryam Monsef, federal minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, made the announcement early Wednesday evening via a Zoom online news conference on behalf of  Mélanie Joly, minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, and Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announces a federal investment of $485,000 for upgrades to the historic Annapolis Royal King's Theatre building and website on Wednesday, via a Zoom meeting. - Stuart Peddle
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announces a federal investment of $485,000 for upgrades to the historic Annapolis Royal King’s Theatre building and website on Wednesday, via a Zoom meeting. – Stuart Peddle

“We know this has been a really difficult time for the sector, for artists and creators, and we do desperately need you to continue to do what you do so well to keep our spirits up and to tell our stories,” Monsef said.

“I know that it has been a challenging year, but in the spirit of your 100th birthday, King’s Theatre, let us reflect on all the challenges that you have overcome over the past century and all the changes that you have shaped and were witness to, from a Depression to a world war, to women entering the workforce, beginning to get the right to vote, the advancements in technologies, computers, internet, we sent people to space and all the while, you stood there solid, grounded in community.”

She lauded the theatre for leading the way on moving to virtual performances and video on demand during the pandemic, mentioning that the important tourism and community attraction drew more than 60,000 visitors annually before COVID-19.

ACOA is providing $251,000  of the total through the Innovative Communities Fund. Heritage Canada is providing $234,000 from the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program.

Janet Larkman, executive director of King’s Theatre, called the funding “a very significant investment in King’s Theatre, which is, by extension, also an investment in the town of Annapolis Royal and the surrounding communities.”

Janet Larkman, executive director of the King's Theatre in Annapolis Royal, takes part in a Zoom online conference announcing a $485,000 federal investment in the theatre building and website on Wednesday. - Stuart Peddle
Janet Larkman, executive director of the King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal, takes part in a Zoom online conference announcing a $485,000 federal investment in the theatre building and website on Wednesday. – Stuart Peddle

Larkman said the theatre needs a new roof, better insulation, electrical upgrades and variety of other structural repairs.

The money will also go toward the installation of solar panels to reduce the theatre’s carbon footprint and lower operating costs, she said.

The stage lighting equipment and structural rigging that supports it will also be upgraded.

The funds will also help expand the theatre’s virtual capabilities with improving the web platform and updating the ticketing system as well as investing in video equipment.

“All of this will help King’s Theatre to grow and adapt to the ever-changing world that we’re in,” Larkman said. “But, at the same time, we promise to keep our focus on making sure that everyone feels welcome here in this real, physical community space.”

Work already began on some of the upgrades before Christmas, taking advantage of the mandated closure due to COVID-19’s second wave mitigation efforts.

“But the new roof and the panels and so on can’t happen until the spring,” Larkman said. “And also the work that we’re doing on the lighting system, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes planning work that is being done. So, our goal is to have everything complete by the beginning of September, which is when we are kicking off our centennial celebrations.”

What was planned to be a year-long celebration is now focused on the fall, she said.

“We may not be celebrating the King’s Theatre centennial year in quite the ways that we had envisioned over a year ago, but undertaking this project enables us to celebrate in ways that will create a legacy that resonates long into the future.”

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More China coal investments overseas cancelled than commissioned since 2017



EU, U.S. agree to talk on carbon border tariff

More China-invested overseas coal-fired power capacity was cancelled than commissioned since 2017, research showed on Wednesday, highlighting the obstacles facing the industry as countries work to reduce carbon emissions.

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) said that the amount of capacity shelved or cancelled since 2017 was 4.5 times higher than the amount that went into construction over the period.

Coal-fired power is one of the biggest sources of climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions, and the wave of cancellations also reflects rising concerns about the sector’s long-term economic competitiveness.

Since 2016, the top 10 banks involved in global coal financing were all Chinese, and around 12% of all coal plants operating outside of China can be linked to Chinese banks, utilities, equipment manufacturers and construction firms, CREA said.

But although 80 gigawatts of China-backed capacity is still in the pipeline, many of the projects could face further setbacks as public opposition rises and financing becomes more difficult, it added.

China is currently drawing up policies that it says will allow it to bring greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by 2030 and to become carbon-neutral by 2060.

But it was responsible for more than half the world’s coal-fired power generation last year, and it will not start to cut coal consumption until 2026, President Xi Jinping said in April.

Environmental groups have called on China to stop financing coal-fired power entirely and to use the funds to invest in cleaner forms of energy, and there are already signs that it is cutting back on coal investments both at home and abroad.

Following rule changes implemented by the central bank earlier this year, “clean coal” is no longer eligible for green financing.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by assets and a major source of global coal financing, is also drawing up a “road map” to pull out of the sector, its chief economist Zhou Yueqiu said at the end of May.


(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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Bank of Montreal CEO sees growth in U.S. share of earnings



Bank of Montreal earnings beat estimates, adds mortgage safeguards

Bank of Montreal expects its earnings contribution from the U.S. to keep growing, even without any mergers and acquisitions, driven by a much smaller market share than at home and nearly C$1 trillion ($823.38 billion) of assets, Chief Executive Officer Darryl White said on Monday.

“We do think we have plenty of scale,” and the ability to compete with both banks of similar as well as smaller size, White said at a Morgan Stanley conference, adding that the bank’s U.S. market share is between 1% and 5% based on the business line, versus 10% to 35% in Canada. “And we do it off the scale of our global balance sheet of C$950 billion.”

($1 = 1.2145 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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GameStop falls 27% on potential share sale



Feds invest 5,000 in Annapolis Royal's King's Theatre –

Shares of GameStop Corp lost more than a quarter of their value on Thursday and other so-called meme stocks also declined in a sell-off that hit a broad range of names favored by retail investors.

The video game retailer’s shares closed down 27.16% at $220.39, their biggest one-day percentage loss in 11 weeks. The drop came a day after GameStop said in a quarterly report that it may sell up to 5 million new shares, sparking concerns of potential dilution for existing shareholders.

“The threat of dilution from the five million-share sale is the dagger in the hearts of GameStop shareholders,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management. “The meme trade is not working today, so logic for at least one day has returned.”

Soaring rallies in the shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings over the past month have helped reinvigorate the meme stock frenzy that began earlier this year and fueled big moves in a fresh crop of names popular with investors on forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets.

Many of those names traded lower on Thursday, with shares of Clover Health Investments Corp down 15.2%, burger chain Wendy’s falling 3.1% and prison operator Geo Group Inc, one of the more recently minted meme stocks, down nearly 20% after surging more than 38% on Wednesday. AMC shares were off more than 13%.

Worries that other companies could leverage recent stock price gains by announcing share sales may be rippling out to the broader meme stock universe, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.

AMC last week took advantage of a 400% surge in its share price since mid-May to announce a pair of stock offerings.

“It appears that other companies, like GameStop, are hoping to follow AMC’s lead by issuing shares and otherwise profit from the meme stocks run-up,” Ablin said. “Investors are taking a dim view of that strategy.”

Wedbush Securities on Thursday raised its price target on GameStop to $50, from $39. GameStop will likely sell all 5 million new shares but that amount only represents a “modest” dilution of 7%, Wedbush analysts wrote.

GameStop on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected earnings, and named the former head of Inc’s Australian business as its chief executive officer.

GameStop’s shares rallied more than 1,600% in January when a surge of buying forced bearish investors to unwind their bets in a phenomenon known as a short squeeze.

The company on Wednesday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had requested documents and information related to an investigation into that trading.

In the past two weeks, the so-called “meme stocks” have received $1.27 billion of retail inflows, Vanda Research said on Wednesday, matching their January peak.


(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta, Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)

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