Arts, culture, sports groups to share $37.8M


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The Manitoba government is giving out more than $35 million to nearly two dozen arts, culture and sports organizations to renovate and build new facilities.

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The Manitoba government is giving out more than $35 million to nearly two dozen arts, culture and sports organizations to renovate and build new facilities.

On Friday, Premier Heather Stefanson and Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Obby Khan announced the first round of recipients of a new arts, culture and sport fund.

“Our PC team is taking a significant step forward by providing this historic investment for shovel-ready, community-led projects that we know will have a positive and lasting impact on our communities,” Stefanson told a packed hall of community organization leaders and Progressive Conservative MLAs at the Dakota Community Centre. The St. Vital centre received $1.05 million to refurbish its ice plant.

When the Tories first announced the new grant program last summer, it promised to spend $100 million over three years, including $34 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year. The government will provide $37.8 million to 23 groups for major capital projects. Another 253 projects received a combined $11.6 million for small capital grants and special initiatives.

Major capital funding recipients include Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata, the City of Winnipeg, and the Market Lands project, a $40-million mixed-use development by CentreVenture in the Exchange District. The project includes a 20,000-square-foot creative hub, housing and a market space.

Market Lands Inc. will receive $5 million towards the creative hub, which will house Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, Creative Manitoba, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, and Video Pool.

CentreVenture chief executive officer Angela Mathieson said the capital will help cover costs owing to supply chain disruptions and increased interest rates.

“The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on every single organization, private or non-profit, with respect to rising costs,” Mathieson said. “While we will have some debt on the building, this allows us to reduce that debt and allows to make sure the project on an ongoing basis has a strong operational footing.”

Mathieson said the project is expected to break ground in late summer or fall and has a two-year construction timeline.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity for people to come to a new centre in the middle of the Exchange, surrounded by all the great architecture and old buildings and other arts organizations in the Exchange District, to experience the visual arts in a really tangible way,” she said.

“We are so pleased that they’re providing this support.”

Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata, an Indigenous resource centre for families and youth, will receive $4.2 million for its Indigenous Culture, Food and Language Community Hub. The organization has bought property on Notre Dame Avenue to expand its programming.

“What we’ve seen over the pandemic, the impact that that has had in our community around food security, mental health, addictions, it’s probably unprecedented,” said Tammy Christensen, executive director at Ma Mawi.

“We’ll continue to work on really helping our community heal.”

Other projects selected for funding include the City of Winnipeg’s Bonivital Pool Renewal ($4.5 million); the Rural Municipality of Springfield’s community recreation centre ($4.7 million); Swan River’s Centennial Arena renovation project ($3.1 million); and the South Winnipeg YMCA-YWCA accessibility and community reach project ($1.5 million).

Stefanson said demand for funding through the grant program has been high and the province has added $16 million to the fund in budget 2023 in response. The province will also distribute the remaining $50 million earmarked for projects over two years instead of three, she said.

Applications for the second intake to the fund’s three streams are being accepted.

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.


Updated on Friday, March 17, 2023 7:21 PM CDT: updates dollar figure in hede and lede

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