Renovation and Expansion of the Varscona Theatre

Project Overview

Construction on the beloved theatre started in June 2015 and was completed on schedule in early April 2016. The renovation and expansion incorporated a new wood glulam column, beam, and roof structure system supported by the 1950s brick walls from the original building. The renovation and expansion preserved the theatre’s cozy feel, while adding many new features that included the glulam wood structure, new lighting grid, catwalk, and power and audiovisual upgrades.

Keeping the existing brick walls, back-of-house area, and basement provided a cost savings but added a large challenge during the demolition phase. To preserve the brick walls, temporary post-bracing was used along with some of the existing roof joists to provide support. These existing roof joist braces had to remain in place until the new glulam wood structure was installed and could support the weight of the brick walls.

Keeping these elements allowed the theatre to maintain the welcoming, intimate feel that patrons have come to love while expanding the lobby, office, and administrative space, improving dressing rooms and performer facilities, increasing the size of the public restrooms, and adding a second storey to allow for a spacious control booth and electrical room.

The end result is a significantly improved theatre that retains its original charm. PCL's Special Projects division constructed the theatre in the most cost-effective manner possible, as the funds for this work were raised by the local theatre community for the most part, with a little help from actor Nathan Fillion, star of ABC’s hit series Castle, who launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the project.


Varscona Theatre Alliance
Edmonton, AB
Edmonton – Buildings & Civil Construction
PCL Construction Management Inc.
Small/Special Projects and Tenant Improvements, Sports and Entertainment
Construction Management