ROTARY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE
For almost a century, the brick church on the corner of Elma Street and Centre Avenue served as a gathering place for the Okotoks community - a place to worship, gain inspiration and where music and praise filled the rafters. Although no longer a church, the facility continues to be a gathering place for celebration and inspiration in its new role as the Rotary Performing Arts Centre.
The building was originally the Methodist Church, built in 1906 at a cost of $5,100. It became the Okotoks United Church in 1917 when the Methodist and Presbyterian congregations joined together. As the town grew, so did the congregation and in 2002, members of the Okotoks United Church had outgrown their space and they made the difficult decision to put their beloved church up for sale.
The Okotoks Arts Council embarked upon an ambitious goal to purchase the church. Their goal was to preserve a much-loved historic building and also to provide a needed facility for the performing arts. After hundreds of hours of fund-raising and renovations, the arts council donated it to the Town of Okotoks. It was officially opened in April, 2005.
Extensive structural and stabilization work has been undertaken on the building since then including a $1 million investment in 2009 by three levels of government. The facility opened to the public in November, 2010 featuring The Dewdney Players production of "Sorry Wrong Chimney." An official re-opening took place on the weekend of February 25th to 27th, 2011.