Gold miner to scoop up Timmins' Shania Twain centre

The City of Timmins has made a deal to sell the Shania Twain Centre to a mining company.

Deal has been in the works for 1.5 years to sell the money-losing attraction to Goldcorp

The City of Timmins has made a deal to sell the Shania Twain Centre to a mining company.

Mayor Tom Laughren said the tentative agreement, which has been in the works for a year and a half, was announced at Monday night's Timmins city council meeting.

The Shania Twain Centre was built to celebrate Twain, her successes and her growth from young artist in Timmins to international superstar, according to the centre's website. (

Council was struggling with plans for the money-losing Shania Twain Centre, while next door, Goldcorp was planning a new open pit mine. Laughren said the city pitched the idea to the mining company and, after months of meetings, they struck a tentative deal.

But he said it'll be hard handing over the keys, knowing $4 million in tax dollars went into building the failed tourist attraction just 12 years ago.

"That's why these decisions are never easy ones," he said.

Centre needed 'local buy-in'

Laughren added a lack of support by Timmins residents was part of the problem.

"Any successful centre definitely needs local buy-in," he said.

"Locals [need to be] taking people and, obviously, the last few years, that was not the case."

Shania Twain at the 2011 JUNO Awards. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

Laughren noted stepping away from the Shania Twain Centre and the attached gold mine tour is a step toward a new tourism strategy for Timmins.

But, as city councillor Pat Bamford said, the city is not stepping away from Shania.

"We're not severing our relationship with Shania Twain," she said. "We're very proud of her."

The sale of the Shania Twain Centre is expected to be finalized over the next two weeks, leading up to another vote of Timmins city council.

Mayor Laughren says once the deal is done, the sale price will be made public.