The next phase of development on Thunder Bay’s revitalized waterfront received a $3.5-million push from the federal government.
Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu and Don Rusnak, MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River delivered the news on Jan.14 that FedNor is investing in the construction of the new $33-million art gallery at Prince Arthur's Landing.
The gallery is relocating from the Confederation College campus to a two-story, 38,000-square-foot edifice to be situated just south of the Spirit Garden. The new building is doubling the gallery’s current programming and public space.
Construction begins in 2020.
Besides extensive exhibit space, the building will contain a gift shop, café with outdoor terrace, and second-floor event hall- available for rental – with a view of the harbor and Sleeping Giant.
Specifically, the grant will be used for site preparation, landscaping, equipment purchases, furnishings, specialized art storage, and monitoring systems for the building.
Ottawa made an earlier investment in the gallery project with $11.5 million coming through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Art gallery director Sharon Godwin said this latest round of funding brings them to within 90 per cent of their fundraising goal.
“I am excited that the federal government recognizes the economic and tourism benefits the new Thunder Bay Art Gallery will deliver to our region as a result of the modernized facility, increased programming, new amenities and an enhanced visitor experience.”
“This strategic investment in the Thunder Bay Art Gallery will enhance tourism, position northwestern Ontario as a leader in the creative economy and improve the quality of life for families who live and work here,” said Hajdu in a statement.
“Relocating the Thunder Bay Art Gallery to the city’s waterfront will enable the organization to grow in size and scope, furthering its standing as an economic and cultural hub for the region,” said Rusnak.