Ottawa announces $3.5M to build new Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Funding announced Monday morning
The federal government has announced $3.5 million for the construction of a proposed new art gallery in Thunder Bay, Ont.
The announcement was made by Thunder Bay area MPs Patty Hajdu and Don Rusnak Monday morning. The money comes from FedNor and virtually ensures the project will move ahead.
"It's a go," gallery director Sharon Godwin told CBC News. "We will now be going out more to the community in the next few months and talking about the community supporting the art gallery."
"It's been a long process," she said of how long it's taken to go from a feasibility study in 2010 to where they are now.
The infusion of cash from Ottawa, along with local fundraising efforts, brings the project within 90 per cent of its fundraising goal, Godwin said.
Godwin has said the new gallery space will bring benefits to the city's tourism sector as well as help the city economically. It's also slated to include climate-controlled storage space that officials say will allow the gallery to expand its permanent collection.
Designs for the 37,000-square-foot facility include six separate exhibition spaces.
"I know the art gallery works with other community groups across northwestern Ontario to bring them in and allow them to use their spaces."
Monday's funding announcement is earmarked for site preparation, landscaping and construction costs.
"This is Thunder Bay, we deserve a very good space for the visual arts, a beautiful space, but a space that the community can afford that the community is comfortable in," Godwin said.