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February 20, 2003
Cultural facilities' renovation plans get green light thanks to City cash infusion
  
The whir of drills and beat of hammers will soon join the more
esthetically-pleasing sounds of music and song at 14 Toronto cultural
facilities when long postponed renovations get under way this year thanks to an
infusion of cash grants from the City of Toronto.

The renovation funds are being made available through the City's new Cultural
Facilities Capital Grants Program that is targeted at small- to mid-sized
facilities providing matching funding for major repairs, renovations or
improvements to bring them into a state of good repair. Small- to mid-sized
facilities are defined by the City of Toronto as organizations with annual
operating budgets of less than $3 million that own or operate/manage facilities
of less than 500 seats.

Toronto City Council provided a one-time contribution of $500,000 to fund the
new program and established the Cultural Facilities Capital Grants Reserve Fund
for the purpose.

"The City of Toronto's contribution of $500,000 will lever more than $2.5
million in major renovations," said Mayor Mel Lastman. "That's a one-to-five
ratio of levering funds. It's not only going to result in significant
improvements to the facilities, but it's also a strategic tourism investment."
Funding partners in the project include the federal and provincial governments.

Rita Davies, Executive Director of Toronto Culture, applauded Council's
decision to support the economic renewal of the cultural sector through the
Cultural Facilities Capital Grants Program. "Toronto has a wonderful array of
cultural facilities, many of which are heritage properties that make a unique
statement about our city. The Capital Grants Program will not only ensure that
our smaller cultural facilities are revitalized, but it also supports and
enhances the working lives of the creative individuals who are at the heart of
Toronto's cultural experience."


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