Today, Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga; Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; Amy Fee, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener South-Hespeler; Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of the City of Kitchener; and Elizabeth Sproule, Chair of the Board of Directors, Centre In The Square, announced funding for two renovation projects for the Centre In The Square theatre, in downtown Kitchener.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $1.7 million in these projects through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than $1.4 million, with the City of Kitchener providing over $800,000, and Centre In The Square contributing over $360,000.
The first project will completely renovate 12 theatre washrooms, which includes replacing the fixtures, plumbing, ventilation and electrical components, and adding automatic door openers and handrails.
The second project involves the replacement and reconfiguration of almost 1900 theatre seats to allow for more accessible seating and to improve access to the main lobby. The lifts used to remove and store theatre seats in the orchestra pit will also be replaced or refurbished.
These upgrades will improve the accessibility of the Centre In The Square theatre to better accommodate and improve the experience for nearly 150,000 yearly visitors, and reduce annual maintenance costs.
All orders of government continue to work together for the people of Ontario to make strategic infrastructure investments in communities across the province when they are needed most.
“Investing in community, culture, and recreational infrastructure is essential to creating communities where families want to live, work and raise their children. The accessibility upgrades to the Centre In The Square, the region’s largest and busiest performing arts centre, will encourage participation in cultural activities and allow for all residents to enjoy concerts and performances comfortably. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“I am proud that the Government of Canada is contributing to the renovation of the Centre In The Square, a valuable cultural space in Kitchener. Improvements to cultural and community infrastructure create accessible and welcoming public spaces where people feel connected and engaged. As someone who has both admiringly sat in the audience as well as proudly performed on stage at the Centre In The Square, I am eager to see the work that will be done here.”
Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga
“The Ontario government recognizes the importance of supporting arts and culture, which is why we are making this investment in the region’s most prominent performance venue to ensure even more members of our community are able to attend concerts, shows, and celebrate local arts. I look forward to seeing Waterloo Region enjoy an upgraded and accessible Centre In The Square for many years to come.”
Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure
“For decades the Centre In The Square has played a leading role in showcasing the performing arts and has greatly contributed to our region. These investments will improve accessibility and ensure the state-of-the-art theatre is enjoyed for years to come.”
Amy Fee, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener South-Hespeler
“The Centre in the Square, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in September 2020, is a highly valued cultural destination in the heart of Kitchener that serves residents throughout Waterloo Region and beyond. As audiences anxiously await a post-pandemic return to live performances, this funding will not only assist in modernizing this beloved facility, but it will also greatly improve accessibility, and sustainability through a reduction in water use, and decreased ongoing maintenance costs. We thank our federal and provincial partners for their funding contributions, and know that when governments work together we can improve the quality of life for all our residents.”
Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of the City of Kitchener
“The Centre In The Square is a treasured gathering place where memorable experiences of community, culture and entertainment are had. Being able to improve its accessibility and amenities ensures that it will be a more inclusive and comfortable space for all going forward. We are extremely thankful to the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments for the funds being contributed to make these improvements possible.”
Elizabeth Sproule, Chair of the Board of Directors, Centre In The Square
Under the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
Across Ontario, the Government of Canada has invested more than $8.2 billion in over 2,785 infrastructure projects.
Over the next 10 years, the Government of Ontario is investing approximately $320 million across the province and the federal government is investing approximately $407 million in Ontario under the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. This stream supports the construction of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities that improve community infrastructure (e.g., community centres, libraries), and support upgrades to recreational venues (e.g., arenas, and both indoor and outdoor recreational spaces) and cultural spaces (e.g., theatres, museums).
Ontario is investing over $10.2 billion under the Investing in Canada plan to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green; and rural and northern community and other priority infrastructure.