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Around Town The Burt from the


Walker to True North Burton Cummings Theatre continues to persevere By Derek Gagnon


In spite of its turbulent history, what is now called The Burt still rocks on.


entertainment scene today. “Te Burt,” as it is affection- ately referred to, has a history that stretches back more than a century, back to when it was called the Walker Te- atre.


T Te birth of the Walker Te Walker Teatre was named for and funded by an


American named Corliss Powers Walker who had slowly developed a chain of theatres in the United States, and eventually in Canada. His first foray into Canadian the-


thehubwinnipeg.com


he Burton Cummings Teatre is a 110-year- old, 1,604-seat, former vaudeville theatre. It is not only an iconic historic site but a bustling theatre that remains at the heart of Winnipeg’s


atre came in Winnipeg, when he leased the Bijou Teatre in 1897, after being convinced to move here by the head of the Northern Pacific Railway. Walker renamed the Bijou to the Winnipeg Teatre, and was operating it in 1903, when the Iroquois Teatre fire in Chicago killed more than 600 people. Concern was ex- pressed over the safety of the Winnipeg Teatre, as it was not fire-proof either, and in 1905, Walker visited other cit- ies for inspiration for a new theatre. He acquired the land for the site of what would become the Walker Teatre, consulted with architect Howard C. Stone and had con- struction commence in March of 1906. Te first perfor- mances in the Walker started in late 1906, despite the fact


Spring 2017 • 15


Photo courtesy of True North Sports + Entertainment.


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