The Government of Canada is providing $2 million in cultural infrastructure funding to the Francis Winspear Centre for Music in Edmonton
EDMONTON, Jan. 19, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Mill Woods), and Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre), announced a $2-million federal investment in downtown Edmonton's Francis Winspear Centre for Music, through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The acclaimed performing arts centre, and home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, is receiving this funding in support of the Winspear Renewal Project. The project will enhance the accessibility of this Edmonton landmark, while creating a welcoming environment for patrons. The project includes facility upgrades to improve access for guests with disabilities, as well as new seating for the Enmax Hall, the centre's main performance space. The existing seats are now 20 years old and need to be replaced to maintain audience comfort and the acoustic integrity of the venue.
Additionally, the renewal project will create four new multi-purpose spaces that can be used for rehearsal, production, programming and outreach activities. The exterior entrance will also be expanded to increase the overall size of the main lobby, which will also feature a new Discovery Centre that will host exhibits and musical presentations.
"Investing in our cultural infrastructure helps build strong communities, while creating jobs and growing the economy and the middle class. Our government is proud to support the Francis Winspear Centre for Music as it works to preserve and enhance its performance spaces—and be an ongoing source of pride and inspiration for Edmonton."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
"Our government recognizes that investing in infrastructure helps create and support economic prosperity. Cultural institutions and infrastructure play an important role in Canadian society. The Winspear Renewal Project will help ensure that the Centre continues to be at the heart of Edmonton's downtown arts district."
—The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Mill Woods)
"I am delighted to see this investment in theWinspear Centre—a cornerstone of Edmonton's cultural community. Therenewed Centre will enhance the quality of life of residents in the region, and stimulate the creativity and economy of our provincial capital."
—Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre)
"Since the Winspear Centre opened its doors 20 years ago, the facility has become a cornerstone of Edmonton's arts district and gained an international reputation as a first-rate acoustic music venue. Through the Winspear Renewal Project, we will revitalize the hall's remarkable acoustic qualities, increase patron comfort throughout the facility, and invite more Edmontonians inside to experience the shared joy of music through new programs and performances taking place in updated and welcoming spaces. On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, and musicians of the Winspear Centre, I express my sincere gratitude to Canadian Heritage for their support through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, as we work towards transforming the Winspear Centre into a true centre for music that is open and accessible to all."
—Annemarie Petrov, President and Chief Executive Officer, Francis Winspear Centre for Music
The Francis Winspear Centre for Music was built in 1997. The building is named for Dr. Francis G. Winspear, a renowned philanthropist, educator and entrepreneur. The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is the largest user of the facility, presenting nearly 100 performances per year.
The Winspear Centre previously received support through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to purchase and install new audio and house lighting equipment in the Enmax Hall, as well as a digital communication system for the lobby, rehearsal and performance spaces, and backstage areas.
In November 2016, the Winspear Centre hosted one of six in-person discussions held across the country with Minister Joly and stakeholders from a variety of sectors on how to strengthen the creation, discoverability and export of Canadian content in a digital world. These discussions ultimately informed the Government of Canada's Creative Canada policy framework.
In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada dedicated $300 million to the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund over 10 years starting in 2018. This followed an unprecedented $168.2 million to the fund over two years provided through Budget 2016.
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for artistic creativity and innovation, as well as the improvement, renovation and construction of arts and heritage facilities, and the acquisition of specialized equipment.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
Renseignements: (media only), please contact: Simon Ross, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]