What’s next for Masonic Temple?
New owners introduce themselves and what they have planned for the property
St. John’s, NL (July 18, 2022) Morgan and Duncan MacRae, the new owners of the Masonic Temple, have started planning what the future may look like for the property. And the plan centers around one common theme – community engagement.
Morgan MacRae, originally from Newfoundland & Labrador, grew up in Conception Bay South and now lives in Victoria, BC. As a “community member at a distance,” she knew she wanted to keep a connection to the province, and a city she loves, St. John’s.
“I wanted our investment to be something that is a true community space that celebrates arts and culture and hosts a variety of events,” she says. “Performing was a big part of my life in Newfoundland. I also have very fond memories of enjoying many shows from the audience at Masonic Temple itself. When we saw the property on the market, it seemed serendipitous.”
While details are in the early stages right now, the new owners want to make the public aware that they will be informed and engaged at various stages of the process.
“Community consultations are a part of the overall plan to ensure the space offers what individuals, groups, artists, and businesses are looking for,” says Duncan. “We envision a space that fully encapsulates the province’s culture by employing local people in the construction and operations, including a food and beverage program featuring local brands and ingredients.”
The renovation and restoration work will create more usable space within the property to continue and expand its cultural programming while also offering a unique event venue.
Spirit of Newfoundland, the dinner theatre production group that currently uses the space, will continue to operate for the foreseeable future as planning progresses. “The Masonic Temple is a jewel of downtown St. John’s and we are proud to have developed it into a beautiful theatre for performance and celebration,” says Kathie Hicks, CEO, Spirit of Newfoundland.
“We are looking forward to preserving and cherishing this St. John’s icon and heritage structure. Through expanding its offerings, we also hope to help expand what is known as the ‘downtown core’, making the refreshed space a regular stop during a night out. One that the community feels they had a hand in creating,” Morgan adds.
The new owners are planning a meet and greet event for early September 2022, which will include stakeholders from all levels of government as well as the arts, non-profit, corporate sector and members of the surrounding community. More information will be released on this event later this summer.
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About the Owners:
Duncan is an entrepreneur, investor, and collaborative design practitioner. Prior to his current role, he ran a software company, as well as worked closely with his family office on private equity and real estate investment, all of which gave him opportunities to delve deeply into the study of change management, organizational culture, and collaboration. He is currently the President and co-founder of Coeuraj Management, an organization that specializes in organizational and systems transformation. Duncan lives in Victoria, BC with his wife and their two daughters. In his spare time, he spends time cooking, walking the dogs, and playing board games.
Morgan has years of community building and event production experience within the arts and festival spheres. Formerly, Morgan has worked as an Auditor for the BC provincial government, a board member and treasurer of several nonprofits, and as a staff accountant.
Her interest in community building began when she worked with nonprofits that provided grants to local artists and hosted large scale art protests and multi-day festivals. While her current focus is her two young daughters, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue passion projects like reviving the Masonic Temple.