The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for WhitbyOshawa, Matthew Teitelbaum, CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario
(AGO), and Geordie C. Dalglish, Chairman of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, today celebrated the unveiling of the design and construction progress of the Gallerys new Weston Family Learning Centre.
The new Weston Family Learning Centre will allow the AGO to continue its longstanding tradition of high-quality art education, said Minister Flaherty. Todays celebration is yet another example of the many stimulus projects our government is supporting in Ontario, including a number of investments in arts and cultural infrastructure projects.
The Weston Family Learning Centre will be an innovative destination for community creativity and learning, said Mr. Teitelbaum. Hariri Pontarinis design provides the physical environment for the learning centre to be a true gathering place for hands-on and on-line exploration of art.
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is very pleased to support the AGO's new learning hub for children, youth and adults, said Mr. Dalglish. The Weston Family Learning Centre will foster creativity and act as a vital resource for communities in our city and throughout the province."
The new 35,000-square-foot learning centre will feature 6,000 square feet of teaching studios, a youth centre, community gallery and a hands-on play space for young children and families. It will offer wireless, state-of-the-art seminar rooms with broadcast and videoconferencing capabilities, meeting spaces for educational and corporate functions, a welcome and orientation area for school groups and remodelled office spaces.
Funding for this project was originally announced in February 2010. The Government of Canadas $7.5-million contribution comes from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, a key component of Canadas Economic Action Plan, which invests in infrastructure projects across Canada to stimulate economic activity and create jobs. The AGO is matching the federal contribution.
The AGOs contribution was made possible thanks to a donation from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, which committed the largest single gift in support of art education in the Gallerys 109-year history.