Government of Canada supports Art Gallery of Alberta expansion - Building Canada: stronger, safer, better

    EDMONTON, Oct. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, President
of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, on behalf of the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, today announced that Canada's Government has identified the
expansion of the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) as a priority under its new
Building Canada infrastructure plan.
    The contribution from Building Canada would be up to a maximum of
$10 million. This funding would be in addition to a $10 million contribution
to the AGA, made through Western Economic Diversification Canada. The total
cost of the initiative, which involves the construction of a new building in
Sir Winston Churchill Square, is estimated at $88 million. A maximum of
one-third of eligible costs will be provided by the federal government.
    "The Government of Canada is investing in cultural infrastructure
initiatives that promote and sustain Canada's rich multicultural heritage,"
said Minister Ambrose. "Cultural infrastructure, such as the Art Gallery of
Alberta, provides the venues for citizen engagement and participation in key
artistic and cultural activities."
    The new 84,000 square foot building will offer between 25,000 and
30,000 square feet of exhibit space and double the gallery's programming and
classroom space.
    "This substantial investment by the Government of Canada acknowledges the
essential role the visual arts play in fuelling creativity, supporting
economic growth, and enriching Canadian culture," said the Honourable
Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official
    "Art is an important element of a good quality of life," said the
Honourable Hector Goudreau, Minister of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and
Culture. "Investment in the Art Gallery of Alberta by all levels of government
and the private sector will help to preserve and present Alberta's rich
cultural heritage."
    "Thanks to the support of the federal and provincial governments, the
Art Gallery of Alberta will be able to expand its exhibit and program
facilities and provide fertile ground for the next generation of Canadian
artists and leaders," said Tony Luppino, AGA Executive Director.
    The City of Edmonton has committed $21 million to the project and the
Province of Alberta has committed $27 million. The remaining funding required
will be raised from private donations. The AGA is dedicated to excellent and
innovative practice in programming, stewardship, and presentation of visual
arts in Western Canada and across the nation. The expansion is expected to be
completed in late 2009.
    Federal financial support for the expansion of the AGA is conditional on
the initiative meeting all applicable federal eligibility requirements under
the Building Canada infrastructure plan, and successful negotiations with the
Province of Alberta of a funding and Framework Agreement.

    Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure
plan, the Government of Canada is providing long-term, stable and predictable
funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will
support a stronger, safer and better Canada. Over the last several months, the
Government of Canada has met with provinces, territories and the municipal
sector to discuss the Building Canada infrastructure plan and priority
projects to be funded under the plan.

For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700;
Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148; Jonah Mozeson, Special Assistant,
Communications, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the
Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and
Minister of Western Economic Diversification, (613) 614-9293

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