Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

March 24, 2006 10:55 ET

Government of Canada Funds Construction of Performing Arts Space in Eastern Labrador

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND--(CCNMatthews - March 24, 2006) - The Government of Canada will provide $750,000 in funding to support the construction of the Mealy Mountain Collegiate Auditorium, a new performing arts space in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament (St. John's South-Mount Pearl) Loyola Hearn announced this today, on behalf of Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women Beverley J. Oda.

"The Government of Canada has long recognized the need for a performing arts space for the arts community and the public in Eastern Labrador," said Minister Hearn. "As the only performance venue in the region, the new auditorium will be essential to providing Eastern Labradorians with access to artistic and cultural presentations. We are delighted to partner with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador on this project."

"The auditorium will provide a window on the artistic and creative vitality of this area and increase access for the general public to a variety of cultural activities in a facility of the highest-quality," said Minister Oda. "This important initiative will generate important cultural, economic, and social benefits for eastern Labrador."

Department of Canadian Heritage funding of $750,000 includes $300,000 that was first announced in 2003, but put on hold when the project was deferred in 2004. Canadian Heritage increased the amount by $450,000 based on higher estimated costs of building the auditorium. This funding complements the $1.9 million announced by Premier Danny Williams on March 13, 2006.

The auditorium, adjacent to Mealy Mountain Collegiate, will enable Eastern Labrador to build on its vibrant history of artistic and cultural expression. Local artists and groups, as well as those from outside the region, will continue to present events such as drama and music festivals and the Labrador Creative Arts Festival. For 30 years, this annual festival has brought together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth with professional artists in various disciplines.

Financial assistance is provided by Canadian Heritage through the Cultural Spaces Canada program. This program supports cultural infrastructure projects that increase Canadians' access to the performing, visual, and media arts or improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and innovation.

Funding announced today was built into the existing fiscal framework.

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

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
    Steve Outhouse
    Director of Communications
    (613) 992-3474
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    (819) 997-9314