Canada and Ontario support new St. Catharines performing arts centre



    Investment will create jobs, stimulate local economy

    ST. CATHARINES, ON, May 22 /CNW/ - Mr. Rick Dykstra, the Member of
Parliament for St. Catharines, and Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines, are
pleased to announce that the City of St. Catharines will soon break ground on
a new Centre for the Arts and Recital Hall, thanks to a joint investment by
the governments of Canada and Ontario.
    This project will have a significant economic impact for the Niagara
region and surrounding area. It will help create jobs, attract skilled workers
and generate more visitors to the town.
    "Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, our Government is investing
in a complex that will create jobs, revitalize downtown St. Catharines and
promote Niagara's diverse arts community," said Mr. Dykstra. "A new Centre for
the Arts and Recital Hall in our region is a welcomed venue that will place
St. Catharines squarely on the cultural landscape. This is a concrete example
of how we are supporting the arts and creating opportunity for students and
adults alike."
    "Under the leadership of Premier Dalton McGuinty, our government believes
that investing in cultural infrastructure is a great way to create jobs, build
stronger communities and forge the creative workforce of tomorrow," said Mr.
Bradley. "The Niagara Centre for the Arts and the Recital Hall will be a
significant cultural attraction in the Niagara region and the government of
Ontario is pleased to be investing with the city and the government of Canada
in this exciting project."
    "The new Centre for the Arts project will provide the necessary catalyst
for a full-scale transformation of Downtown St. Catharines, which has been
identified as an Urban Growth Centre," said St. Catharines Mayor Brian
McMullan. "Building on the support of the Federal and Provincial governments,
Downtown St. Catharines will be able to position itself as a diverse location
for cultural pursuits and new business investment."
    The Niagara Centre for the Arts will be a venue capable of hosting
big-ticket theatre and concerts with a capacity of 800 to 900 patrons. The
Recital Hall will be a 300-seat venue that will primarily be used for
community and public musical performances.
    The Government of Canada has set aside a maximum contribution of $18
million, or up to one-half of total eligible project costs of the Centre for
the Arts and Recital Hall project. The Government of Ontario will provide $18
million towards eligible project costs. The City of St. Catharines will also
contribute financially to the Centre.
    Demonstrating their commitment to stimulating the economy and creating
jobs, both the governments of Canada and Ontario are moving forward with a
number of large-scale infrastructure programs to assist Ontarians when they
need it most. The Government of Canada's 2009 Economic Action Plan is
accelerating and expanding the existing federal investment of $33 billion in
infrastructure across Canada with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure
stimulus funding over two years.
    Through the 2009 Ontario Budget - Confronting the Challenge: Building Our
Economic Future - the province is investing $32.5 billion in infrastructure
for the province of Ontario over the next two years, including a $5 billion
contribution from the federal government, that will support more than 300,000
jobs and strengthen Ontario's economy. These investments build on the Ontario
government's five-year, $30 billion ReNew Ontario infrastructure investment
plan which will be completed in 2008-09, a year ahead of schedule.

    LEARN MORE

    To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit
www.actionplan.gc.ca (http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/).
    Learn how the Government of Canada is investing in Ontario infrastructure
(http://www.buildingcanada-chantierscanada.gc.ca/regions/on/on-eng.html).
    Learn how the Government of Ontario is helping to build and revitalize
infrastructure (http://www.mei.gov.on.ca/english/infrastructure/) across the
province.


    
    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

             IMPROVING CULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND CREATING JOBS
                            IN THE NIAGARA REGION
    

    Infrastructure investment stimulates economic growth, creates jobs,
supports stronger communities and enhances the overall prosperity of
Ontarians.
    This project will see the construction of both the Niagara Centre for the
Arts and the Recital Hall in St. Catharines, Ontario.
    Through this federal-provincial collaboration, the City of St. Catharines
will build in its downtown core a new Centre for the Arts capable of hosting
big-ticket theatre and concerts with a capacity of 800-900 patrons, and a new
Recital Hall which will be a 300-seat venue that will primarily be used for
community and public musical performances.
    The project will provide benefits for residents and visitors to the
region. The construction of a new Niagara Centre for the Arts and Recital Hall
is at the heart of the city's plan for the revitalization of its downtown
core.
    The Government of Canada has identified the Niagara Centre for the Arts
and Recital Hall project as a priority for funding. As such, the federal
government will set aside up to $18 million or one-half of total eligible
costs. The Government of Ontario will also provide $18 million towards the
project. The City of St. Catharines will also contribute financially to the
Centre. The total estimated cost of the Centre for the Arts and Recital Hall
is $58.5 million.
    In the summer of 2008, the Province of Ontario signed-on to the
Government of Canada's Building Canada Plan Framework Agreement. Under this
agreement, Ontario receives $3.09 billion from the Government of Canada.
Ontario's matching contribution of $3.09 billion results in a $6 billion
investment towards revitalizing the province's infrastructure.
    Federal and provincial financial support for this project is conditional
on it meeting all applicable eligibility and approval requirements under the
Building Canada infrastructure plan and the signing of a contribution
agreement.

    
    CONTACTS

    Chris Day
    Office of Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister
    613-991-0700

    Amy Tang
    Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure
    416-327-6747
    




For further information:

For further information: Karen Moncur, Office of Rick Dykstra, M.P., St.
Catharines, (905) 934-6767; Matt Robinson, Office of Jim Bradley, MPP for St.
Catharines, (416) 327-9236; Chris Day, Office of Canada's Transport and
Infrastructure Minister, (613) 991-0700; Amy Tang, Office of the Honourable
George Smitherman, (416) 327-6747

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Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

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