Cornwall Arts Centre entering design phase

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Cornwall Arts Centre entering design phase
Geishan Rajaratnam performs a dance routine at the unveiling of the donor boards which celebrate those who have financially supported Cornwall's New Art Centre (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – On Wednesday, July 24, at the unveiling of new donor panels honouring the financial supporters of the Arts Centre, the City of Cornwall announced that they are approaching the design phase for the new building.

Located at the old Bank of Montreal building at 159 Pitt St., the City of Cornwall purchased the Arts Centre in 2018.

READ MORE: Renovations to old BMO could cost $4-6 million

Jamie Fawthrop, General Manager for the city’s Parks and Recreation department told the gathered crowd that administration was ready to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to find a company to redesign the building.

The total bid price for the design contract is $300,000, but Fawthrop explained that cost would not be the sole determinant in their search for an appropriate design firm.

“We want to see bidders who include extensive resumés in the arts and culture sector,” he said.

A committee from members of the Cornwall art committee which has been hard at work raising money for the centre.

RELATED: Art community pledges to raise $1M for Arts Centre

The new donor boards on display at the Benson Centre show dozens of names, and dozens more have contributed anonymously.

At the unveiling event, more cheques were presented to the committee including $500 from Liam and Jessica Lynch and $750 from l’Amalgame, a French theatre company who donated some of their proceeds from their recent production Papillons de Nuit.

A further $2,000 was donated by Your Arts Council (YAC) which was raised through their Conquer the Canvas event in the Spring. A cheque for $5,000 from an anonymous donor was presented and earlier in the week, the Jean-Louis and Collette Bellemare Family Foundation donated $100,000 to the cause. The Bellemare family founded the Farm Boy chain of grocery stores in Cornwall.

In total, so far, $357,595 has been raised for the Arts Centre in the Cornwall community.

Mayor Bernadette Clement was on-hand at the event, and praised those volunteers who were working to make the Art Centre a reality.

“Today is a great day, not just because the sun is shining, but because the vision of our arts centre is shining as well,” she said.

Katie Burke, the MC of the event chronicled some recent uses of the art centre space, which have included being open for art walks and hosting book signings and lectures. She also invited Geishan Rajaratnam to perform a dance as an example of future art that youth will be able to display and perfect at the new centre once completed.

The projected completion date of the art centre is sometime in 2021.

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[…] CORNWALL, Ontario – On Wednesday, July 24, at the unveiling of new donor panels honouring the financial supporters of the Arts Centre, the City of …Read more […]