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deCoste centre improves accessibility


The deCoste Performing Arts Centre has had several enhancements made to the facility to make it more accessible and safer for its patrons. 
All these measures are part of the Pictou theatre’s Arts Are for Everyone Program. The upgrades and new programs were made possible through the annual fundraising gala and funding secured from the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. 
The funding allowed for the installation of a ramp to the stage and a mechanical lift from the Murray Room to the floor (General Admission- Section A) making both areas accessible to those with mobility challenges.  A wheelchair was also acquired to ease transportation of patrons as required. 
A hearing assist loop is being installed which provides high quality audio to patrons with T-coil enabled hearing aids. The deCoste also has two portable receivers that are available to hearing-challenged patrons who don’t have suitable hearing aids.  Anyone interested in using these is asked to pre-arrange with the box office when purchasing tickets and bring your own ear-phones to use with the receiver. 
In the event of a cardiac emergency, the deCoste now has an AED (automated external defibrillation) unit installed. 
To make performances more accessible to the community, the deCoste has also partnered with the Pictou Antigonish Regional Libraries on a new program.  The partnership provides access to deCoste-produced shows (excluding rental shows) for free to library card holders. The deCoste Centre hopes to reach individuals who face financial, social and other barriers to purchasing tickets to performances.  
Each library branch will have one pass to limited shows at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre in Pictou.  The names of shows will be released each season.  Each pass allows for two free general admission tickets to the show printed on the back of the pass. The deCoste will hold the seats under each library name as a reserve until the patron brings the AAFE pass to the box office to pick up their tickets. There will be seven passes in total – one at each library branch – made available for each of the designated shows. Anyone with an active library card is eligible to borrow a pass. 
Passes will be made available for borrowing 14 days prior to the show date. The passes will be available for holds through the online catalogue or by calling a branch to have a hold placed for the individual. Passes can be picked up at any branch.  Passes will not be sent out via Books by Mail. 
For more information on the program, contact your nearest local library. 

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