Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 03, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Simon Fraser University

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 3, 2009) – The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced over a million dollars in funding for Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts.

"Our Government realizes the importance of stimulating the economy through investments in a certain number of key sectors, particularly the arts and culture sector," said Minister Moore. "Projects benefiting from our support will provide jobs in this area and provide our communities with more welcoming spaces that are conducive to expressing our culture."

"We are delighted to have the Government of Canada as our partner in building this exciting new hub for artistic expression and education in the heart of downtown Vancouver," said Michael Stevenson, President of Simon Fraser University. "SFU Contemporary Arts at Woodward's will play a vital role in helping to stimulate Vancouver's creative economy and revitalize its Downtown Eastside."

The School for the Contemporary Arts will receive $1 million in funding through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund—formerly called the Cultural Spaces Canada program—of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This investment will contribute to the construction of the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre and a state‑of‑the‑art cinema. Both facilities will be used by Vancouver's professional arts community. These projects are part of the redevelopment of the former Woodward's site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. This investment will also help to create about 72 direct and 39 indirect jobs at public cultural venues.

Minister Moore also took the opportunity to announce additional funding of $399,982 for Simon Fraser University's library through the Partnerships Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This funding will allow the library to document additional multicultural materials and improve its existing multicultural website by digitizing a wealth of unique materials representing minority groups, such as newspapers, photographs, and oral histories.

The focus of the School for the Contemporary Arts is contemporary art, new media, film, and ethno-cultural and Aboriginal arts. It also serves to foster connections between advanced students and the professional cultural community.

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund helps improve the physical conditions of spaces for artistic and cultural creation and, in so doing, fosters artistic creativity and innovation. The Fund supports the improvement, renovation, and construction of facilities dedicated to arts and heritage, as well as the purchase of specialized equipment and the carrying out of feasibility studies.

The Partnerships Fund assists partnership initiatives between not-for-profit, public, and private organizations and institutions in connecting Canadians with the riches of Canada's heritage by making Canadian cultural collections held by provincial, municipal, and local organizations available online.

For more information about the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, please visit

For more information about the Partnerships Fund, please visit

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(This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications


    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region
    Derick McNeil
    A/Regional Manager Communications
    Cell: 604-351-2693


    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations