Parks Canada

Parks Canada

January 29, 2010 15:23 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Invests in Heritage Infrastructure at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Through Its Erskine and American Church National Historic Site of Canada

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 29, 2010) - The Government of Canada is delivering infrastructure funding to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for its Erskine and American Church National Historic Site of Canada. The Honourable Claude Carignan, senator, made this announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to stimulate Canada's economy during the global recession.

"Quebec offers many spectacular natural landscapes and interesting historic treasures," said senator Carignan. "As one of these historic treasures, the Erskine and American United Church is of great historic value to the local community and it offers a wonderful opportunity to experience and learn from our diverse history and heritage."

Through Parks Canada's National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program, the Government of Canada will be contributing $425,000 to support a conservation project at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) and its Erskine and American Church National Historic Site of Canada.

"We are really excited about the idea that this building will be responsible for the renaissance of a site of such immense heritage value and, at the same time, will provide the public with a permanent link to an enhanced history of Canadian art," said Ms. Nathalie Bondil, Director of the MMFA.

"This project will help the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts be a destination of choice for travellers," said Minister Prentice. "In our Economic Action Plan, our Government is helping to stimulate the economy as well as preserve and protect special places like this that are symbols of our country and tangible connections to our history ."

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) have begun to transform the Erskine and American Church, located on Sherbrooke Street West, into a showcase building dedicated to Canadian art and the nave of the church will be transformed into a concert hall. The new pavilion will double the exhibition space currently available for Canadian artists. The Erskine and American Church, built in 1894, is a designated national historic site. The church's history, its architectural value, and its location within the same city block as the Museum make it an ideal setting in which to display the MMFA's collection of Canadian art, to which the public currently has insufficient access due to lack of exhibition space. The church will join the existing three-building MMFA complex and will be linked to it via an underground walkway.

National historic sites contribute to tourism in over 400 communities across Canada through direct spending, visitor spending and spin-off economic activity. The National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program, with a budget of $20 million provided in part by Canada's Economic Action Plan, reflects the government's desire to support job creation by providing funding for conservation of National Historic Sites. This Program provides opportunities for skilled construction and conservation professionals to work on national historic sites across the country.

The National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program is a contribution program that can pay up to 50% of eligible costs incurred by the owner to conserve a national historic site and present it to Canadians for their enjoyment and appreciation. Eligible recipients include other levels of government, not-for-profit organizations and not-for-profit aboriginal organizations.

Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future.

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