Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

December 04, 2006 11:30 ET

Canada's New Government Announces Infrastructure Support for Five National Cultural Institutions

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 4, 2006) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, and the Honourable John Baird, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament (Ottawa West-Nepean), today announced funding of almost $100 million over five years for the following five Canadian Heritage Portfolio organizations:

- Canadian Museum of Nature

- National Gallery of Canada

- Canadian Museum of Civilization

- Canada Museum of Science and Technology

- National Arts Centre

The funding will address urgent capital and infrastructure challenges that have faced these institutions for several years.

"By taking our responsibilities seriously, Canada's New Government is ensuring Canada's place as a progressive country," said Minister Oda. "The national museums are the keepers of our most treasured and significant heritage, while the National Arts Centre provides a world-renowned venue for Canadian artists. Today we are ensuring that the arts and our cultural heritage will play an essential role in the lives of Canadians for years to come."

"Ottawa is an important showcase for Canadian culture and heritage," said Minister Baird. "Through this significant investment, Canada's New Government is helping to ensure that our museums and cultural centres have the support they need to preserve our shared history and promote Canadian talent."

"We are grateful that the Government of Canada has committed funds to ensure capital and urgent health and safety repairs to our research and collections facility," said Joanne DiCosimo, president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. "This will help us preserve Canada's national natural history collections."

"These substantial investments will allow the National Gallery of Canada to undertake over 70 essential deferred-maintenance projects identified in our Facilities Long-Term Capital Plan," said Pierre Theberge, director of the National Gallery of Canada. "This announcement by the Canadian Government demonstrates a long-term vision for our institution and a real concern when it comes to preserving our national heritage."

"I am delighted that the Government has taken firm action to protect these buildings and the collections they hold on behalf of all Canadians," said Victor Rabinovitch, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. "The repairs we will make at the Museum of Civilization will have very positive impacts for the millions of visitors who come to our site every year from across Canada and around the world."

"We are eager to apply these funds to resolve urgent health and safety issues and to carry out structural repairs at our three museums," said Maureen McEvoy, director of public affairs at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. "We're particularly encouraged to have attracted investments that will allow us to enhance revenue-generating opportunities."

"The National Arts Centre is pleased that the Government of Canada is addressing the longstanding issue of needed funding for repairs and long-term maintenance at Canada's national cultural organizations," said Peter Herrndorf, president and CEO of the National Arts Centre. "We are grateful that Ministers Oda and Baird understood that, while infrastructure rehabilitation may not be sexy, it is necessary to do the 'below the radar' work that protects our cultural assets."

Funding announced today represents a concrete step by Canada's New Government to address urgent infrastructure challenges faced by these key national institutions. Providing for urgent repairs and easing capital pressures will enable these institutions to continue to deliver on their national mandates. A breakdown of support is attached.

The Canadian Heritage Portfolio consists of the Department of Canadian Heritage and 18 other organizations. The Portfolio organizations are among the key Canadian institutions that support the creation, promotion, and dissemination of cultural and artistic expression and the preservation of Canadian culture and history.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Chisholm Pothier
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Status of Women
    819-997-7788
    or
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage
    819-994-9101