The federal government is investing $5 million to help create the Cape Breton Centre for Arts, Culture and Innovation, a new creative hub to be located in Sydney, N.S. The funding will be provided by the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation (NDCSI) is a non-profit-subsidiary of New Dawn Enterprises Ltd., the oldest community development corporation in Canada. NDCSI will be receiving the funding for this project to transform the historic Holy Angels Convent into a creative hub for the community through extensive building renovations and the installation of specialized equipment. Planned upgrades include the addition of up to 25 artist studios, a multi-use gallery space, new elevators, upgraded lighting, sound-proof studios and rehearsal space, and new heating and ventilation systems.
The new creative hub will be an accessible venue for artists to create, collaborate, refine and share their work with the public. The federal government plans to invest in more creative spaces, which serve as incubators for innovation and artistic growth, as part of Creative Canada.
“It is no secret that Cape Breton Island is rich in its artistic and innovation heritage. The contribution provided by Canadian Heritage to the Cape Breton Centre for Arts, Culture and Innovation will enable us to provide a permanent home for more than 150 innovators and artists,” said Rankin MacSween, president and chief executive officer of New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, in a press release. “It will allow us to rebuild this 130-year-old property for the next 130 years—retaining its character and its presence on George Street but with all of today’s modern systems and conveniences inside. This is a project that will undoubtedly contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the North End, Sydney’s downtown core and the Island.”