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Stratford Festival

Governments Invest in New Patterson Centre

Stratford Festival logoThe Government of Canada this week announced federal funding of $20 million for construction of the Stratford Festival's new Tom Patterson Theatre Centre in Stratford, Ontario. This investment is being made through the Building Canada Fund—Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component—National and Regional Projects. Mélanie Joly, minister of Canadian heritage, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, minister of infrastructure and communities, announced the federal government's investment on Monday.

The Government of Ontario is also contributing up to $20 million in funding for the new center. The remainder of the project's costs, amounting to over $28 million, will be raised by the Stratford Festival through fund raising.

Built in 1906, the current Tom Patterson Theatre is reaching the end of its usable life and is unable to withstand renovations. The existing theatre will be replaced with a new 75,000-square-foot multipurpose centre that will include a new Tom Patterson Theatre with increased seating capacity, a renovated backstage, a digital media studio, an expanded arts research laboratory, and an education and exhibition classroom.

Once complete, the Centre will allow the Festival to host a greater number of cultural and creative events, attract more visitors, and promote Stratford as a cultural hub and regional attraction.

"Cultural and recreational infrastructure make our communities places where families can play, where neighbors can meet, and where Canadians can celebrate the many cultures that make up our country," said Joly, quoted in a company news release. "The new center will provide a gathering place for the community and will help to attract more visitors every year while contributing to our shared goal of building stronger and more dynamic communities across Canada."

Said Stratford Festival Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino in the news release: "We are extremely grateful for this generous support from the governments of Canada and Ontario and are proud to live in a country in which our governments stand behind our efforts not only to be successful today but also to make the bold decisions necessary to develop the audiences and artists of the future."

Through the Building Canada Fund, the government is investing in cultural infrastructure so that Canada can preserve the experiences of its people and places, inspiring visitors to explore and understand the world around them. The Government of Canada recognizes that strategic investments in public infrastructure play a key role in supporting dynamic communities while creating good jobs that help grow the middle class, said the Stratford Festival's release.

The Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities. Of this funding, $21.9 billion will support social infrastructure in Canadian communities. Ontario's infrastructure investment of $190 billion over 13 years in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges is the largest in the province's history.

"This new facility will enrich social and economic opportunities in the community, while preserving the Stratford Festival's status as a major regional and international tourist attraction," the release quoted Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure.

December 21, 2017

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