Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford, who is also the minister for Northern Development and Mines, has announced a $1 million grant for the arts centre in Kenora.
"Of all the files over the years -- the difficulties, the challenges and the opportunities -- I think the thing that I was offended by the most were those articles that came out in consecutive years saying Kenora was a cultural wasteland," he said, following this morning's announcement.
Rickford, in his role as chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Corporation, was joined under the Whitecap Pavilion by members of the Big Picture fundraising committee, city councillors, as well as the donors of the W.J. Phillips art collection, Nicki and Bryce Douglas. Their 65-piece collection captures life on Lake of the Woods between 1910 and 1920, and it will form the core of the $4.5 million gallery, which is set to open next year.
Rickford also announced funds for planning the redevelopment of the city's harbourfront. The $33,333 will help the city undertake planning and design work for the redevelopment of Kenora's harbourfront, with a focus on future business and tourism activities.
"We're just on the tip of the iceberg," said Dave Canfield, after the announcements. "The next 10 years are just going to be amazing, and minister you're going to make them amazing with it."
In his role as the federal member for Kenora, Rickford played a key role in the downtown revitalization, which included Main Street and the harbourfront. The projects were intended to help spur commercial activity on the waterfront, which will likely replace some of the parking spaces. However, the minister said he'd let the local council decide.
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