Curtain rises on newly named Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre

News Nov 13, 2017 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

The spotlight was on the newly named Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre as Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin announced the province was providing $3 million toward the construction of the $12-million facility.

As a large crowd from the Ancaster community gathered, including former Ancaster mayor Bob Wade, for the event on a cool, wet morning Nov. 13. McMeekin said the funding has been approved for the facility by provincial officials and will be available to the city next year.

“This may be the single most important announcement for its lasting impact,” said McMeekin. “Without music and the arts, life is a mistake.”

He said the facility should not only provide a venue for a growing local arts community, but it will create jobs, boost tourism and be a beacon for education.

“This is a brilliant project,” he said.

The provincial contribution will be added to the city’s $3-million share and the community’s fundraising contribution, which is expected to reach $3 million by the end of the year.

The city already spent about $2.25 million to purchase the school property in 2014 from the public school board.

“This is fantastic,” said Colin Lapsley, the art centre’s executive director.

Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson said he has met a number of times with Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas MP Filomena Tassi about the federal government’s $3 million contribution. Ferguson said he is optimistic the Canadian government will come through with its share of the funding.

“I have every reason to believe we will get it across the finish line,” said Ferguson, who first discussed the idea of an arts centre with local businessman Bob Wilkins seven years ago over lunch.

The preliminary cost to transform the 70-year-old former Memorial Elementary School is estimated to be about $6.93 million. The plan is to demolish half the structure, at a cost of about $5.2 million.

The Hamilton architectural firm, Invizij, which designed the project, includes a 450-seat theatre, a gallery, multiply small rooms for storage and other uses, and the construction of a European-style piazza with a one-way entrance from Wilson Street.

In addition, the plan will be to sell off a portion of the property to build 24 residential units for seniors. Funds from the sale of the land will be placed into the Ancaster reserve fund.

Lukas Keermaa, manager for the project, said if everything follows a preliminary schedule construction on the arts centre could begin sometime in 2018 and be completed within 18 months.

He said a stage three archeological assessment on the property has been completed, which found numerous Indigenous artifacts. It prompted a stage four assessment which will include removing trees along one side of the property to conduct the study.

Meanwhile, organizers of the fundraising campaign for the facility revealed the permanent name of the facility will be the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre. Lapsley said fundraising co-chair, Wilkins and his partner Bill Walker, made a donation so that the name of the former school will be kept on the centre to honour all the soldiers who went to war defending Hamilton.

“He wanted to keep the name up there,” said Lapsley. “That was an important thing for the community.”

A brass plaque honouring the soldiers who gave their lives on behalf of their country was discovered in the school. Ferguson said it will be installed at the centre “in honour of the soldiers who fought for our city.”

 

 

Curtain rises on newly named Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre

News Nov 13, 2017 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

The spotlight was on the newly named Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre as Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin announced the province was providing $3 million toward the construction of the $12-million facility.

As a large crowd from the Ancaster community gathered, including former Ancaster mayor Bob Wade, for the event on a cool, wet morning Nov. 13. McMeekin said the funding has been approved for the facility by provincial officials and will be available to the city next year.

“This may be the single most important announcement for its lasting impact,” said McMeekin. “Without music and the arts, life is a mistake.”

He said the facility should not only provide a venue for a growing local arts community, but it will create jobs, boost tourism and be a beacon for education.

“This is a brilliant project,” he said.

The provincial contribution will be added to the city’s $3-million share and the community’s fundraising contribution, which is expected to reach $3 million by the end of the year.

The city already spent about $2.25 million to purchase the school property in 2014 from the public school board.

“This is fantastic,” said Colin Lapsley, the art centre’s executive director.

Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson said he has met a number of times with Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas MP Filomena Tassi about the federal government’s $3 million contribution. Ferguson said he is optimistic the Canadian government will come through with its share of the funding.

“I have every reason to believe we will get it across the finish line,” said Ferguson, who first discussed the idea of an arts centre with local businessman Bob Wilkins seven years ago over lunch.

The preliminary cost to transform the 70-year-old former Memorial Elementary School is estimated to be about $6.93 million. The plan is to demolish half the structure, at a cost of about $5.2 million.

The Hamilton architectural firm, Invizij, which designed the project, includes a 450-seat theatre, a gallery, multiply small rooms for storage and other uses, and the construction of a European-style piazza with a one-way entrance from Wilson Street.

In addition, the plan will be to sell off a portion of the property to build 24 residential units for seniors. Funds from the sale of the land will be placed into the Ancaster reserve fund.

Lukas Keermaa, manager for the project, said if everything follows a preliminary schedule construction on the arts centre could begin sometime in 2018 and be completed within 18 months.

He said a stage three archeological assessment on the property has been completed, which found numerous Indigenous artifacts. It prompted a stage four assessment which will include removing trees along one side of the property to conduct the study.

Meanwhile, organizers of the fundraising campaign for the facility revealed the permanent name of the facility will be the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre. Lapsley said fundraising co-chair, Wilkins and his partner Bill Walker, made a donation so that the name of the former school will be kept on the centre to honour all the soldiers who went to war defending Hamilton.

“He wanted to keep the name up there,” said Lapsley. “That was an important thing for the community.”

A brass plaque honouring the soldiers who gave their lives on behalf of their country was discovered in the school. Ferguson said it will be installed at the centre “in honour of the soldiers who fought for our city.”

 

 

Curtain rises on newly named Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre

News Nov 13, 2017 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

The spotlight was on the newly named Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre as Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin announced the province was providing $3 million toward the construction of the $12-million facility.

As a large crowd from the Ancaster community gathered, including former Ancaster mayor Bob Wade, for the event on a cool, wet morning Nov. 13. McMeekin said the funding has been approved for the facility by provincial officials and will be available to the city next year.

“This may be the single most important announcement for its lasting impact,” said McMeekin. “Without music and the arts, life is a mistake.”

He said the facility should not only provide a venue for a growing local arts community, but it will create jobs, boost tourism and be a beacon for education.

“This is a brilliant project,” he said.

The provincial contribution will be added to the city’s $3-million share and the community’s fundraising contribution, which is expected to reach $3 million by the end of the year.

The city already spent about $2.25 million to purchase the school property in 2014 from the public school board.

“This is fantastic,” said Colin Lapsley, the art centre’s executive director.

Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson said he has met a number of times with Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas MP Filomena Tassi about the federal government’s $3 million contribution. Ferguson said he is optimistic the Canadian government will come through with its share of the funding.

“I have every reason to believe we will get it across the finish line,” said Ferguson, who first discussed the idea of an arts centre with local businessman Bob Wilkins seven years ago over lunch.

The preliminary cost to transform the 70-year-old former Memorial Elementary School is estimated to be about $6.93 million. The plan is to demolish half the structure, at a cost of about $5.2 million.

The Hamilton architectural firm, Invizij, which designed the project, includes a 450-seat theatre, a gallery, multiply small rooms for storage and other uses, and the construction of a European-style piazza with a one-way entrance from Wilson Street.

In addition, the plan will be to sell off a portion of the property to build 24 residential units for seniors. Funds from the sale of the land will be placed into the Ancaster reserve fund.

Lukas Keermaa, manager for the project, said if everything follows a preliminary schedule construction on the arts centre could begin sometime in 2018 and be completed within 18 months.

He said a stage three archeological assessment on the property has been completed, which found numerous Indigenous artifacts. It prompted a stage four assessment which will include removing trees along one side of the property to conduct the study.

Meanwhile, organizers of the fundraising campaign for the facility revealed the permanent name of the facility will be the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre. Lapsley said fundraising co-chair, Wilkins and his partner Bill Walker, made a donation so that the name of the former school will be kept on the centre to honour all the soldiers who went to war defending Hamilton.

“He wanted to keep the name up there,” said Lapsley. “That was an important thing for the community.”

A brass plaque honouring the soldiers who gave their lives on behalf of their country was discovered in the school. Ferguson said it will be installed at the centre “in honour of the soldiers who fought for our city.”