Harper Government Invests in Edmonton Opera Association

EDMONTON, March 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister for Status of Women and Member of Parliament (Edmonton-Spruce Grove), accompanied by the Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced an investment from the Government of Canada in the Edmonton Opera Association. This investment will support renovations and infrastructure improvements to the organization's new production facility.

"The Edmonton Opera has been a pillar of our cultural community for the past 50 years, and we are pleased to be a partner in its continued success," said Minister Ambrose. "This investment supports the modernization of this much-needed space, benefitting the artists and our region's economy."

Funding will allow the Edmonton Opera Association to renovate a 22,500-square-foot warehouse in northwest Edmonton for use as a new, consolidated production centre. The facility will provide space to create and store sets, as well as props and costumes. It will also house the Opera's artistic and production staff and will be available for use by other theatre organizations in the Alberta Capital Region.

"Arts and culture organizations contribute to the vitality of our communities and enrich the quality of life of all Canadians," said Minister Moore. "Today's announcement demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that organizations like the Edmonton Opera Association have the resources they need to improve facilities, so that they can continue to provide high-quality artistic experiences to Canadians."

"We are thrilled the Government of Canada is investing in arts and culture by supporting our new production facility," said Sandra Gajic, Chief Executive Officer, Edmonton Opera. "This facility allows us not only adequate storage and set and costume build space, but the opportunity to be active in our community, as an employer of numerous trades and a strong member of the arts and culture scene in Edmonton."

The Edmonton Opera, founded in 1963 as the Edmonton Professional Opera Association, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. The company predominantly serves audiences in central and northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and northeastern British Columbia, with close to 18,000 patrons enjoying its main stage productions each year.

The Government of Canada has provided $450,000 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentations or exhibitions. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing arts, visual arts, media arts, museum collections, and heritage displays.

SOURCE: Canadian Heritage

For further information:

For more information (media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of
Canadian Heritage and
Official Languages

Anna Gravelle
A/Regional Manager
Western Region
Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)


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