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Tuesday October 4th, 2016

For Immediate Release

North Huron - The Township of North Huron is pleased to announce the influx of $979,907 toward the renovation of Blyth Memorial Community Hall. The money was made possible through a successful grant application to the Minister of Canadian Heritage for a Cultural Spaces Fund. The funding will be applied to the components of the renovation project that directly support the professional artistic programming undertaken at the Hall, such as the technical sound and light equipment, the stage renovations and the new art gallery lighting.

“We know how important infrastructure is to organizations dedicated to arts and culture across the country,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “By supporting the construction and renovation of cultural spaces like the Blyth Memorial Community Hall, we help create jobs, strengthen communities and put arts and culture within reach of all Canadians.”

« Nous savons à quel point les infrastructures sont importantes pour les organismes artistiques et culturels de partout au pays, a précisé l’honorable Mélanie Joly, ministre du Patrimoine canadien. En appuyant la construction ou la rénovation d’espaces culturels tels que le Blyth Memorial Community Hall, nous aidons à créer des emplois, à renforcer nos communautés et à mettre les arts et la culture à la portée des Canadiens.»

“This funding would not have been obtained without the collaboration between the Township of North Huron and Blyth Centre for the Arts. Deb Sholdice and Gil Garratt were instrumental in assisting the Township with the application. This is a significant contribution to the project and builds momentum for all the tremendous initiatives that 14/19 Inc. are contributing to Blyth. This Federal recognition and investment in the Memorial Hall project speaks volumes to the reach that our Arts Community in Blyth has across the country.” says North Huron Reeve, Neil Vincent.

Gil Garratt, Artistic Director for the Blyth Festival stated "What we have built in Blyth over 43 years is a theatre unparalleled in its national focus, its national import, and, consequently its national influence. This grant is, in essence, an assertion by the people of this country that our own arts and culture is not a frill or luxury, but is instead a vital piece of our infrastructure and our social fabric. The Blyth project will continue to be a national beacon, with the Blyth Festival as its freshly refurbished bulb burning brighter than ever.”

The renovation of Blyth Memorial Community Hall is underway, and will be completed for the start of the Blyth Festival 2017 season. The entire $3,800,000 project will position Blyth Memorial Community Hall for the future, while at the same time respecting the heritage of this architecturally significant landmark in Blyth. This renovation is phase one of an ambitious three phase plan being undertaken by Blyth Arts and Culture Initiative 14/19 Inc.

“The Board of Directors and management of Blyth 14/19 Inc. are delighted that the Cultural Spaces Grant from the Ministry of Heritage will assist in seeing Phase I of our economic development plan to revitalize the Village through arts and culture, move forward with full funding in place,” says Peter Smith, Blyth 14/19 Inc. Project Director. "We know an improved Blyth Memorial Community Hall, our deeply valued heritage cenotaph, community centre, and home of the celebrated, national theatre company, the Blyth Festival, will provide increased opportunity for cultural programming and added comfort for theatre guests and community users alike. The revitalization of this venerable Hall will contribute to the growing positive spirit in the Village - something that will impact County and Country wide.”

About the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund:

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and innovation. It is also designed to increase Canadians’ access to performing arts, visual arts and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays. The Fund supports the improvement, renovation and construction of arts and heritage facilities, as well as the acquisition of specialized equipment.

For more information contact:
Pat Newson, Director of Recreation and Facilities
Township of North Huron
519-357-1208 x22