Government of Canada supports Art Gallery of Alberta expansion – Building Canada: stronger, safer, better

by NationTalk on October 27, 20071251 Views

EDMONTON, Oct. 27 – The Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that Canada’s Government has identified the expansion of the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) as a priority under its new Building Canada infrastructure plan.

The contribution from Building Canada would be up to a maximum of $10 million. This funding would be in addition to a $10 million contribution to the AGA, made through Western Economic Diversification Canada. The total cost of the initiative, which involves the construction of a new building in Sir Winston Churchill Square, is estimated at $88 million. A maximum of one-third of eligible costs will be provided by the federal government. “The Government of Canada is investing in cultural infrastructure initiatives that promote and sustain Canada’s rich multicultural heritage,” said Minister Ambrose. “Cultural infrastructure, such as the Art Gallery of Alberta, provides the venues for citizen engagement and participation in key artistic and cultural activities.”

The new 84,000 square foot building will offer between 25,000 and
30,000 square feet of exhibit space and double the gallery’s programming and
classroom space.

“This substantial investment by the Government of Canada acknowledges the essential role the visual arts play in fuelling creativity, supporting economic growth, and enriching Canadian culture,” said the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages.

“Art is an important element of a good quality of life,” said the Honourable Hector Goudreau, Minister of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture. “Investment in the Art Gallery of Alberta by all levels of government and the private sector will help to preserve and present Alberta’s rich cultural heritage.”

“Thanks to the support of the federal and provincial governments, the Art Gallery of Alberta will be able to expand its exhibit and program facilities and provide fertile ground for the next generation of Canadian artists and leaders,” said Tony Luppino, AGA Executive Director.

The City of Edmonton has committed $21 million to the project and the Province of Alberta has committed $27 million. The remaining funding required will be raised from private donations. The AGA is dedicated to excellent and innovative practice in programming, stewardship, and presentation of visual arts in Western Canada and across the nation. The expansion is expected to be completed in late 2009.

Federal financial support for the expansion of the AGA is conditional on the initiative meeting all applicable federal eligibility requirements under the Building Canada infrastructure plan, and successful negotiations with the Province of Alberta of a funding and Framework Agreement.

Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is providing long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will support a stronger, safer and better Canada. Over the last several months, the Government of Canada has met with provinces, territories and the municipal sector to discuss the Building Canada infrastructure plan and priority projects to be funded under the plan.

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148; Jonah Mozeson, Special Assistant, Communications, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, (613) 614-9293

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