The Government of Canada is providing $1.5 million from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support two cultural infrastructure projects that will help revitalize the Quarters Downtown Edmonton, a diverse and inclusive 100-acre community located on the east side of downtown Edmonton.
As part of the City of Edmonton’s 20-year plan to renew the neighbourhood, it is repurposing municipally owned buildings that will be made available through a competitive process to not-for-profit arts organizations for redevelopment as cultural spaces.
The city will receive $750,000 to renovate and retrofit a 6,945-square-foot, two-storey structure built in the 1960s, which will be transformed into an Indigenous contemporary art centre and gallery, under a long-term lease by the Ociciwan Contemporary Arts Collective. Once complete, the project will become Edmonton’s first collective-run contemporary arts centre, providing space for established and emerging Indigenous artists to gather and work, as well as space for the mentorship of Indigenous youth.
The second half of the funding will be used towards retrofitting and renovating a 7,240-square-foot, one and a half-storey structure, built in the mid-1950s, to create a community-driven arts centre, under a long-term lease by the Quarters Arts Society. Once construction is complete, this facility will offer flexible rental spaces for local artists and organizations that currently do not have access to affordable arts and performance space in the neighbourhood.
“The Quarters is one of the City’s catalyst projects, intended to create a solid foundation to strengthen the heart of our city and ensure our pulse remains strong,” said Councillor Scott McKeen, City of Edmonton Ward 6 Councillor, in a press release. “These two projects couldn’t be better suited to add to the growing vibrancy of the area, building on its history while creating exciting and inviting spaces for different cultural conversations and artistic innovation.”