The former Mady Centre for the Performing Arts, in downtown Barrie, has a new sponsor and will soon have a new permanent name. On Dec. 11, Barrie city council gave their approval to Pratt Homes as the new sponsor for the theatre, which is located at the Five Points intersection, at 1 Dunlop St. West.

The Mady name officially expired in December 2016 after developer Charles Mady defaulted on his naming-rights deal. He agreed to buy the naming rights for 22 years in exchange for a $500,000 gift to the city over five years.

Last February, city officials issued a request for information to determine the level of interest in the naming rights for the centre. Staff successfully negotiated a 15-year sponsorship agreement with Pratt Homes and Pratt Development for $300,000, to be paid in the first four years.

“This is fantastic news for our city, said Mayor Jeff Lehman “Pratt Homes has been a major part of our community for more than 100 years, so it’s very fitting that their name will be associated with our downtown theatre.”

Pratt Homes will now work with the city to conduct a community-wide contest to find the new name.

“This competition to name the theatre will be integral in giving such an important building in our city its own identity and allowing the residents of Barrie to have their say,” said Pratt owner Karen Hansen.

Visit renamethisbarrietheatre.ca to submit an idea for the theatre name. The contest closes at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 12. From the submissions received, Pratt Homes, Pratt Development and the City of Barrie will create a short list of five names for the public to vote on from Jan. 17-26. The winning name will announced at a council meeting in February.

Photo courtesy of the City of Barrie