The Government of Canada and the Government of Québec announce financial support for the expansion project of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec



    QUEBEC CITY, Dec. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada plans to
provide financial backing for the expansion project of the Musée national des
beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), thereby acknowledging the importance of
preserving, developing and improving access to culture through quality
infrastructure in the Capitale-Nationale and its environs. The Government of
Québec has also confirmed its financial support. The Honourable Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the
Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and
Official Languages, made the announcement today, accompanied by Christine
St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women,
Philippe Couillard, Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister
responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, and Régis Labeaume, Mayor of
Québec.
    "It is through its culture that a society defines itself and positions
itself for the future, and Quebec City is the cradle of French culture in
North America. It is only right and fitting that we should give this gem a
showcase worthy of it," said Minister Cannon. "On the eve of the 400th
anniversary celebrations of Québec City, the Government of Canada's long-term
infrastructure plan, Building Canada, provides for investment to ensure access
to quality cultural infrastructure. This plan betokens the government's
recognition of the importance of preserving, developing and improving access
to culture."
    "This funding is excellent news for the Capitale-Nationale and
surrounding area," said Minister Verner. "Looking ahead to the 400th
anniversary celebrations, thousands of visitors can be expected from all
corners of the world, and the federal government's support for the expansion
of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec will afford them all an
opportunity to explore our unique cultural heritage."
    Funding of up to 50% of eligible costs could be allocated, bringing the
federal contribution to a maximum of $33.7 million under the government's
Building Canada infrastructure plan. The Government of Québec has also
confirmed its financial commitment to this project in the amount of
$33.7 million, under its three-year capital asset plan. The total cost of the
works is estimated at 90.3 million and the rest of the funding will be
provided by private partners.
    The federal government contribution would support the construction of a
new 8000-square metre pavilion; construction of a tunnel linking the new
pavilion to the Charles-Baillargé Pavilion; re-fit of exhibit spaces and the
existing restaurant, shop and lobby; as well as exterior work.
    "The planned expansion of the Musée national des beaux-arts fits in with
the Government of Quebec's objective of contributing to the implementation of
quality infrastructure that increases access to cultural property, activities
and services for all Quebecers. The project will not only enable the MNBAQ to
improve access to its rich collection, but will also enhance the influence of
our Capitale-Nationale in terms of culture and tourism," said Minister
St-Pierre.
    "If a capital city is to grow, it especially needs to develop its
institutions. That's why the Government of Quebec is proud to participate in
the planned expansion of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. The
museum, which is a key cultural centre for the Québec region, will now be able
to continue providing us with high quality exhibitions, some of them unique in
Canada," added Minister Couillard
    John R. Porter, Executive Director of the Musée national des beaux-arts
du Québec, declared, "We are going to make the expansion of the Musée national
des beaux-arts du Québec an exemplary project, a major project with which all
Quebecers can identify and of which they will be proud for many years to
come."
    Financial support for the project is conditional on the signing of the
necessary agreements with the Government of Quebec under the Building Canada
infrastructure plan, as well as on the completion of a federal due diligence
review of the project, the successful completion of the environmental
assessments required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the
signing of a contribution agreement outlining the project details.
    Through its unprecedented $33 billion Building Canada plan, the
Government will provide stable, predictable and long-term funding to meet
infrastructure needs all across Canada. Building Canada will support a
stronger, safer and better Canada.

    For further information on the Building Canada plan, visit
www.buildingcanada.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700; Dominic
Gosselin, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage,
Status of Women and Official Languages, (819) 997-7788; Infrastructure Canada,
(613) 948-1148; Marie-Hélène Paradis, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister
of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, (418) 380-2310; Katherine
Noreau, Responsible for Public Relations, Musée national des beaux-arts du
Québec, (418) 644-6460, extension 5538


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