MEDICINE HAT, AB – The Honourable Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre), today announced $585,863 in funding for the City of Medicine Hat for cultural infrastructure upgrades for the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre. Mr. Hehr made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
The Centre, built in 2005 as one of Alberta’s Centennial Legacy projects, will receive support under two federal funding programs for important facility enhancements and upgrades.
Through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, Canadian Heritage is providing $285,863 for new specialized LED lighting and controls for the Centre’s theatre, as well as renovations to a collections storage facility to house and preserve heritage artifacts from the Centre’s museum.
Infrastructure Canada is providing $300,000 through the federal Gas Tax Fund. This funding will also support the new LED lighting, as well as protective storage of archival materials and a portable wall system for use in the Centre’s galleries.
These enhancements will help decrease overhead costs, ensure economic sustainability, and modernize equipment and operations for the benefit of the nearly 100,000 visitors the Centre receives each year.
“The ability to gather and celebrate art, history, heritage and culture in shared spaces—like the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre—is an important element of thriving communities. These activities not only foster economic viability, they stimulate creativity, learning and discovery. Our government recognizes the pivotal role the creative sector plays in our cities and towns, and the cultural spaces that give life to it. We are committed to making value-added investments to foster growth in this sector.”
—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
“We are proud that the flexibility of the federal Gas Tax Fund allows municipalities across Canada to fund a wide range of projects that promote strong local economies and improve people’s quality of life. This project in Medicine Hat will ensure that the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre can continue to engage visitors of all ages in learning through the visual arts, performing arts and history for many years to come.”
—The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre is multi-purpose space that serves the community’s needs beyond just bricks and mortar. It provides Hatters and Albertans alike with the opportunity to see, hear and appreciate talented and diverse Canadian artists and creators. It safeguards the collective cultural treasures of our past and present. It showcases priceless works of art, and thoughtful exhibitions and historical installations. This funding ensures that the Centre will be able to keep delivering excellent programs and services for years to come.”
—The Honourable Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre)
“The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre is a place where arts and our city’s heritage are brought to life. It’s a place where everyone can celebrate, learn and enjoy that which has helped shape our diverse and vibrant community. This funding will go directly to helping preserve our history for many years to come, while also ensuring the theatre remains a state-of-the-art facility.”
—His Worship Ted Clugston, Mayor, City of Medicine Hat
The City of Medicine Hat owns and operates the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre. The facility includes a 700-seat performing arts theatre, 200-seat studio theatre, museum and archives, and three galleries.
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The Fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces.
The federal Gas Tax Fund is a permanent source of funding provided up front, twice a year, to provinces and territories, who in turn flow this funding to their municipalities to support local infrastructure priorities. Municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility. The federal Gas Tax Fund delivers more than $2 billion every year to 3,600 communities across the country. In recent years, the funding has supported approximately 4,000 projects each year.