Kenora MP Bob Nault presented a cheque for $1 million to art gallery supporters today.
"If we truly are believers that art and culture is part of what makes Canada unique, that's why this is important for Kenora. It's also a tourist attraction. Let's fact it. Culture is a big business. Everybody knows that -- nationally -- it's one of our largest businesses, tourism and the aspects of tourism," he said.
The cheque completes fundraising for the $4.5 million project, which is expected to open next year. Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford presented another million-dollar cheque in August. The Big Picture campaign started last September.
Mayor Dave Canfield was pleased to see financing for construction of the project was completed without ratepayer money.
"The one-third was private money this time, as opposed to the city putting money forward, and that's a huge bonus," the mayor said, noting ratepayers may still have to foot the bill for a staff person.
The new arts centre will include a public art gallery, special equipment and heritage facilities. Nault, in his speech, said Indigenous art would be welcome in the new space, along with the collection of water colours.
The donation of 65 pieces of art by W.J. Phillips from the collection of Nicki and Bryce Douglas forms the core of the gallery. It will be located between the Lake of the Woods Museum and the Service Ontario offices.
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