Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Soo Theatre Project in Sault Ste. Marie

Monday, August 21, 2023

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative



LANSING, Mich. – The historic Soo Theatre in downtown Sault Ste. Marie will become a universally accessible public space through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Soo Theatre Project, Inc. announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by October 20, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“This project will allow for people of all abilities to have access to the myriad of public offerings at the historic Soo Theatre,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The Soo Theatre is home to a vibrant performing arts center, dedicated to showcasing wonderful performances, nurturing artistic talent, and fostering a deep sense of community. This new project will allow the Soo Theatre to become a universally accessible public space and replace the primary entry and four historic storefronts, as well as make improvements to signage, sidewalks, and entry and exit pathways.

The Soo Theatre has a long history of providing free events to the public and will be able to expand on its offerings upon completion of this project. People will gather and spend time at the theatre for an indoor location for Music in the Park, concerts, Junior Opera and other student performances, strings and orchestra concerts, Vocal Galas, and much more.

“We at the Soo Theatre are thrilled to be chosen for a Public Spaces Community Places grant by the MEDC,” said Soo Theatre Project, Inc. Executive Director Colleen Arbic. “This grant will allow us to embrace the principles of universal design, resulting in the Soo Theatre and the public space surrounding it becoming more accessible.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm support of placemaking projects happening in our communities,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “This project will ensure that everyone can visit the historic theatre and be able to fully experience what it has to offer. The arts have an important impact in our communities and help bring people together, improving their human experience. This is what placemaking is all about.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of Aug. 10, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $11.8 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 358 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $13.5 million raised from 67,117 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.