Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

December 02, 2009 10:32 ET

Government of Canada Grants $3,205,212 in Funding for Construction of a Complex Showcasing Ilnuatsh Culture and Traditions

MASHTEUIATSH, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2009) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, today announced the awarding of $3,205,212 in non-repayable funding to the Conseil des Montagnais du Lac-Saint-Jean through the Community Diversification program for the construction of a complex on the banks of Lac Saint-Jean showcasing Ilnuatsh culture and ancestral traditions. This project will necessitate an overall investment of $4,977,141 and create 45 jobs in Mashteuiatsh.

The initiative is intended to promote Ilnu culture and develop the tourism potential of the Mashteuiatsh territory. The new complex will include an arts pavilion, a stage, a period general store, a rest area for cyclists travelling the Veloroute des Bleuets and various other recreational tourism facilities to allow visitors the opportunity to learn more about how the Ilnuatsh lived in the early 1900s.

"The Conseil des Montagnais du Lac-Saint-Jean is seeking through this project to introduce the general public to the extraordinarily rich heritage of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh. The community will thus have a new facility for disseminating and showcasing its traditional culture. By becoming an important vector of aboriginal identity, Mashteuiatsh is sure to benefit from significant tourism revenues," explained the Minister of State.

The Conseil des Montagnais du Lac-Saint-Jean hopes to make this complex a major tourist attraction, like the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Felicien, Village historique de Val-Jalbert and St. Anthony's Hermitage, and thereby draw European tourists to the region.

"This complex promises to help improve the local tourism offering, generate jobs and contribute to a thriving Mashteuiatsh community. Canada Economic Development sees investing in tourism as a priority for the revitalization of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean economy. The project that has brought us together today is also entirely in line with Canada's Economic Action Plan, a series of measures we have put in place to stimulate the Canadian economy," Minister Lebel concluded.

The aim of Canada Economic Development's Community Diversification program is to fund initiatives undertaken by Quebec regions to preserve and broaden their economic activity base.

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