Investing in New Equipment for Opera Company in St. John's

Opera on the Avalon will increase access and expand audiences in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN'S, June 17, 2017 /CNW/ - Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament (St. John's East), today announced funding of $239,000 for Opera on the Avalon through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. Mr. Whalen made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The funding will enable Opera on the Avalon to purchase specialized equipment that will give new audiences the opportunity to experience opera. The group plans to offer inclusive, multidisciplinary performances that are accessible to audiences in rural areas, Indigenous people, youth, minority-language communities, new arrivals and people with disabilities.


"We know that investing in arts in culture helps in developing strong communities. This is why the Government of Canada is pleased to support Opera on the Avalon as it continues to reach out to communities and draw new audiences to the art of opera. By supporting culture, we are providing opportunities for Canadians to experience art in all its forms."

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"By telling our stories in a unique way, Opera on the Avalon lends its vitality to the cultural fabric of Newfoundland and Labrador, and indeed of Atlantic Canada. I am delighted that our support will give even more people the opportunity to experience opera in the beautiful rural locations throughout our region."

—Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament (St. John's East)

"The generous support from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will assist Opera on the Avalon in implementing innovative projects with a focus on strengthening our artistic vitality, enhancing our audience experience, and increasing our civic impact through community connections. This funding will also promote greater inclusion by increasing access for those with physical and cognitive disabilities, as we work towards our goal of making art accessible to every Newfoundlander and Labradorian."

—Cheryl Hickman, General and Artistic Director, Opera on the Avalon

Quick Facts

Since its debut in 2009, Opera on the Avalon has presented professional operatic performances in Newfoundland and Labrador, featuring artists from Canada and around the world.

In addition to productions, concerts and recitals, Opera on the Avalon undertakes education and outreach programs and events for groups such as at-risk youth, Indigenous people and new Canadians.

The company presented the opera Ours in 2016, based on the history of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel that took place on July 1, 1916. Funding of $425,000 was provided through Canadian Heritage's Major Events and Celebration Program (World Wars).

With the support from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, Opera on the Avalon will purchase portable equipment, including a projector, monitors, microphones and sound equipment, as well as equipment for travelling such as a trailer, utility trunk and road cases.

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

Associated Links


SOURCE Canadian Heritage

For further information: (media only): Pierre-Olivier Herbert, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155,


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