Historic Toronto concert venue Massey Hall is set to get an additional $8 million from the federal government to help fund renovations.
On Friday, The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced that the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall is receiving $8,330,000 to fund the revitalization of Massey Hall.
The Government of Canada is providing this support through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This program provides cultural institutions with the funding required to provide world-class services to Canadians in their community.
The announcement was made at the building, and those in attendance alongside Joly included Deane Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Corporation of Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall, Spadina-Fort York MP Adam Vaughan, Blue Rodeo singer Jim Cuddy, and Whitehorse.
Cuddy spoke of the significance of Massey Hall, while Whitehorse performed at the occasion.
Speaking to the funding, Joly stated that "Investing in Canada’s cultural sector helps create jobs for the middle class, strengthens the economy, and ensures that Canada’s unique perspective is shared with the world.” She also stressed the importance of Massey Hall, terming a performance there “a rite of passage” for musicians from all over the world.
Cameron said that “We are thrilled that the Government of Canada is investing in Massey Hall’s future through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding will help set the stage for the completion of the Massey Hall Revitalization Project to ensure that Massey Hall remains a home to showcase and cultivate our future leaders in arts, culture and beyond.”
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund invests in professional not-for-profit arts and heritage organizations for the improvement, renovation and construction of arts and heritage facilities, as well as for the acquisition of specialized equipment and the development of feasibility studies related to cultural infrastructure projects.
The Fund, launched in 2001, has invested approximately $410 million in 1,381 projects in every province and territory as of March 31, 2016. The program receives an average of 137 applications each year.
As of December 31, 2016, 80 percent of the money allocated in Budget 2016 has been approved for projects. This investment is supporting 157 projects in 96 communities across the country this year.
Massey Hall, opened in 1894, is operated by the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. The Corporation is revitalizing Massey Hall to improve its accessibility, technical infrastructure and presentation environment. The last major renovation to Massey Hall occurred in 1948.
Source: Government of Canada press release.