Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
In the former Canada Hair Cloth building, President Jack Lightstone, left, and Dean Rosemary Hale present MPP Jim Bradley with a commemorative Badgers hoodie for his efforts in helping Brock secure funding for the downtown performing arts centre.
An exuberant Rosemary Hale speaks at the announcement for Brock's downtown fine arts complex. Photo: City of St. Catharines
Brock University greatly appreciates the Government of Ontario’s support for the new future home of its Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.
It was a moment Brock and fine arts supporters had been waiting for when St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley announced that his government would provide $26.2 million for the project. He made the announcement on April 14, 2010 in front of the old Canada Hair Cloth textile factory in St. Catharines that will become the future home of the Walker campus.
This momentous announcement will help realize this important initiative, which will revitalize downtown St. Catharines and the Niagara region. It will set in motion an artistic and cultural renaissance in the downtown core by adding a new major cultural attraction to the region.
The School will see 500 full-time Brock students and faculty members relocated from their current cramped quarters on campus to this new, energized downtown setting. It will also create a world-class arts facility in downtown St. Catharines to showcase professional artists of local, national and international stature for the cultural enrichment of the greater Niagara community.
The investment is part of the Dalton McGuinty government’s Open Ontario plan to generate opportunities for jobs and economic growth.
“The new five-year Open Ontario plan is about creating jobs and growth,” said Bradley. “Our investment in Brock University will help support St. Catharines’ vibrant arts community, attract more people downtown, and generate economic development for the entire Niagara region.”
The facility will present, promote and develop the arts in Niagara and throughout Ontario. It will also include dedicated theatre, rehearsal, teaching and research studios for students.
The downtown fine arts campus is being built in partnership with the City of St. Catharines, which will build a civic Niagara Centre for the Arts on the other half of the downtown site.
“This is an incredible day for Brock,” said President Jack Lightstone, “a day we have been working toward for a long time, with unceasing commitment and help from Jim Bradley.
“This investment in post-secondary education by the Government of Ontario will help change the lives of thousands of students whose knowledge and careers will be greatly enhanced by vastly improved educational facilities.”