The highly-anticipated Kigali Cultural Village, a hub for entertainment and lifestyle activities, is officially opening doors this week to the public after months of development.
The Rebero-based project, courtesy of Vivendi Group, a French company, will comprise a modern cinema theatre, an open concert area, and an escape games facility.
It is a result of the partnership between the Group and the Rwanda Development Board, which was signed back in August last year on a 20-year lease agreement on Rebero Hill, Kicukiro.
The New Times was given an exclusive tour of the facilities ahead of the official launch.
A modern cinema hall that can accommodate 300 people is complete, it will be powered by solar panels, and an open air stage that has a capacity of hosting up to 20,000 people is also ready.
A view of Kigali Culture Village, a project that sits on 30 hectares and comprise recreational facilities at Rebero in Kicukiro District .Dan Nsengiyumva
The facilities will host 19 movie sessions a week, live concerts, cultural and artistic festivals, seminars and conferences.
According to Simon Minkowski, General Manager of Canal Olympia, which will run the space, the facilities are the 16th of its kind in Africa.
“It will be a huge asset for us and particularly for the music industry,” he said.
Vivendi owns the French TV channel and movie producer Canal+ Group, music world leader Universal Music Group, book publisher Editis, and communication company Havas.
It is also the firm behind the popular video games company Gameloft, and video hosting service Dailymotion.
The Rebero-based project, courtesy of Vivendi Group, a French company, will comprise a modern cinema theatre
Kirenga Karengera, a DJ and an event curator, believes it is a great step forward for the Kigali entertainment scene.
“For entertainment capitalists, this is a good addition – a new multipurpose venue run by professional operators, as for culture, let’s wait and see,” he said.
Rwanda had one cinema hall, Century Cinema, but the presence of Canal Olympia means that city dwellers and tourists who flock the city will now have more options.
Minkowski said they will embark on the second phase of the project, which will consist of a restaurant, two soccer pitches, a mini golf course, and a children’s gaming area.
“It will be an extended entertainment experience,” he noted.
The plan is to screen the first movie on Sunday.