Government of Canada supporting Black Canadians in Guelph through the Cultural Spaces Fund and Supporting Black Canadians Community Initiative-Capital Fund
February 26, 2021
Today, Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced a total funding of over $75,000 for the Guelph Black Heritage Society through the Cultural Spaces fund as well as the Supporting Black Canadians Community Initiative-Capital Fund.
Investments in cultural and creative spaces build strong and vibrant communities by providing community spaces where people can gather and enjoy arts and culture. Through the Cultural Spaces Fund, over $26,000 will be provided to the Guelph Black Heritage Society and will help improve access to cultural events by allowing them to purchase equipment go digital and live stream projects and events. The Guelph Black Heritage Society relies on revenues for their space rental and this project will enable their facility to be well equipped.
Through the Supporting Black Canadians Communities Initiative - Capital Fund, the Guelph Black Heritage Society has received over $50,000 to improve their community space, and retrofit and renovate to improve their functionality. The GBHS will be renovating their kitchen and bathrooms as well as the historical flooring of the building to allow for its continued use by the community, and in particular for Black centred programs.
The Guelph Black Heritage Society is a non-profit heritage organization with a mandate to preserve the Heritage Hall as a cultural heritage building, representing the historic, present, and continued influence of the Black community on the quality of life in Guelph, Wellington County and across the county.
Since 2012, the Society has operated Heritage Hall as the region’s only Black-focused cultural facility, a gathering and performance venue, with a capacity of up to 90 people. The Society has renovated the Hall into a universally accessible facility that is utilized year round and hosts about 175 events annually including concerts, workshops, presentations and community rentals. The annual usage of the Heritage Hall totals over 6,000 people.
“Cultural spaces, like museums, theatres, and creative hubs, allow everyone in the community to enjoy the arts and connect with our heritage. Our government is happy to support projects that will give Canadians more opportunities to access arts and culture.”
—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
"In Canada, diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. Today's announcement showcases our strong ties as our government works hand-in-hand with partners from across the country to provide direct support for the community, by the community, including right here in Guelph. This initiative is the first of its kind and will help pave the way for future opportunities to provide direct support for Black communities from coast to cost to cost. We know there is more work to do, and we are committed to moving forward together."
—The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“Thanks to the vision and hard work of the staff, board, and membership of the Guelph Black Heritage Society, in the past few years Heritage Hall has been literally transformed one of Guelph’s iconic buildings into one of Guelph’s most important cultural spaces. Soon it will be home to cultural performances, theatre, music, and story telling that reflects stories from our BIPOC community keeping alive our history and celebrating our diversity.”
-Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph
“This newly refurbished space in the Heritage Hall Theatre is a place for creating opportunities for emerging, minority and marginalized voices to explore their stories and find opportunities to share them in Canadian arts landscape. Thank you to the federal government for their continued support.”
-Denise Francis, President of the Guelph Black Heritage Society
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) supports improvements to the physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation spaces. The Fund supports the construction or renovation of arts or heritage facilities, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces, including creative hubs.