Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and Wayne Long, Member of Parliament (Saint John–Rothesay), announce an investment in the arts in Saint John, New Brunswick
SAINT JOHN, NB, April 16, 2019 /CNW/ - Cultural sites are places for Canadians to come together and share. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the renovation and construction of cultural spaces and to making arts and culture more accessible throughout the country.
Wayne Long, Member of Parliament (Saint John–Rothesay), accompanied by Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, today announced $3 million in funding for two theatres in Saint John, New Brunswick. They made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The Saint John Theatre Company (SJTC) will receive $2 million from Canadian Heritage and $500,000 from ACOA to renovate the former courthouse and transform the space into a playhouse and performance centre.
The Imperial Theatre will receive $250 000 from Canadian Heritage and $250 000 from ACOA. The funding will be used to renovate the lobby, and to enhance accessibility, safety, energy efficiency, and comfort for artists and the public.
These investments will help the City of Saint John maintain cultural spaces for the performing arts, and to continue offering spectacular performances to residents and visitors.
"Our government is proud to invest in the creative economy and to contribute to our country's growth and job creation, while enabling Saint John residents to enjoy quality arts and culture infrastructure. Cultural spaces are essential for the development of the arts and culture; they help bring our communities together and enable artists to create in their own space."
-The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
"Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today's investments in the Saint John Theatre Company and the Imperial Theatre are building on our competitive advantages by supporting critical arts infrastructure that will provide world-class entertainment experiences and promote local talent, boosting economic growth and supporting good, middle-class jobs for Canadians."
-The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA
"Our government believes that cultural infrastructure plays a key role in the economic and social development of our communities. These investments will enable creators and artists to showcase the region's cultural talents, and to continue allowing Saint John residents to discover the arts in their own community."
-Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
"The Saint John region has long been a place where our cultures come together. The arts and culture are a part of who we are as Canadians, and these investments will enable our city and our residents to continue to have access to high-quality performances and productions right here in our community."
-Wayne Long, Member of Parliament (Saint John–Rothesay)
"Ever since the Saint John Theatre Company brought the Princess Street production facility online in 2008, the company has been on a continuous growth curve. With the growth of theatre production and presentation series, and the addition of new programs such as the Atlantic Repertory Company Program, it has been clear for some time that the organization needed to expand facilities in order to create more capacity for the future. We have identified the historic Sydney Street Courthouse as a prime location for expansion. With the support of Canadian Heritage and ACOA, we can now begin the process of developing this property into a vibrant cultural facility for the benefit of the SJTC and the cultural community at large."
-Stephen Tobias, Executive Director, Saint John Theatre Company
"Imperial Theatre is so grateful for this contribution from the Government of Canada for the renewal of the Theatre's lobbies. This grant will assist us in improving accessibility, addressing audience traffic flow and providing better quality service to our audiences. Public spaces like Imperial are relied upon more and more to offer alternative meeting and performance spaces for the community, and this refresh will help Imperial to meet these changing needs and to ensure our relevance and value to the city into the future."
-Angela Campbell, Executive Director, Imperial Theatre
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund plays a key role in improving physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing arts, visual arts, media arts, museum collections, and heritage displays.
ACOA's contributions to the Saint John Theatre Company and the Imperial Theatre are being made through its Innovative Communities Fund (ICF). Working in partnership with Atlantic communities and stakeholders, ICF builds on the strengths of communities and provides the tools needed to identify opportunities available for their sustainable economic growth.
The SJTC is a non-profit organization that produces high-quality performances. It also provides training, professional development, and visibility to performing arts professionals throughout southwestern New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada.
The Imperial Theatre has a 900-seat capacity and is recognized as one of the three largest presenters in the province. It plays a key role at the national and regional level in the presentation of performances by major Canadian theater companies, and encourages the production and development of the arts at the local level.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only), please contact: Ann Kenney, Senior Communications Officer, ACOA New Brunswick, 506-452-3687; Simon Ross, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, 819-997-7788; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]