The restoration was intended to facilitate local arts uses. One obstacle included the seating: the chairs had been designed for children, which made them somewhat small and uncomfortable for adults stepping out to go to the theatre for the evening. The solution was to maintain the rows of metal brackets, but to install larger seats. That reduced the capacity to just under 200 people (200 comfortable people, that is.) In addition to the stained glass work, there were areas of plaster including the cornice and stage, that needed to be replaced and repaired. The techniques used were similar to those employed in the parlours.
In 1996, during a precarious point in the structural engineering, Victoria experienced blizzards and heavy snowfall. The weight of the snow on the incomplete roof of the auditorium was 50% more than it was ever expected to withstand, and the engineers were worried that the structure might not hold up. Jake Grypma, the site superintendent, spent a day digging his jeep out of the snow to drive over and inspect the roof. Much of the snow had blown off the main section by the time he arrived, but almost 150 centimetres remained above the auditorium. The structural engineer, James Blohm thought "We'd come all this way to lose it to a snowfall".
Fortunately, the Academy stood yet one more test. This beautiful performance space is now a setting for Victoria's local theatrical groups, concerts, lectures, film festivals and others interested in the arts and culture.