Campaign surpasses goal

Music in the Making fundraising campaign surpasses $650,000

Elected representatives, funding partners and a handful of local arts community members got a close-up look at the new Community Arts Centre today.

With construction on time, on budget and now halfway to completion, the City of Lethbridge held a briefing and tour of the $20.7-million facility for federal, provincial and municipal officials.

Also present were local artists and representatives of the Allied Arts Council as well as the University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music, which will be a major tenant when the Community Arts Centre opens in May, 2013.

Support for the U of L Music Conservatory's move to the downtown location has been overwhelmingly positive, and is natural extension of an already-productive City/University partnership, according to U of L President Mike Mahon.

"The City of Lethbridge and the University of Lethbridge have a long history of partnering together to improve the personal well-being of individuals and families, and to enhance the quality of life in local and regional communities," says Mahon. "We are excited to be a key tenant in the new Community Arts Centre as we work with other members of the southern Alberta community to improve access to the arts in our community."

Mahon says that community support was critical to the extremely successful conclusion of the Music in the Making fundraising campaign, launched last year to support the Conservatory's move downtown.

"We set a goal of $500,000, and I am pleased to say that we exceeded it by more than $150,000. Our volunteers and Lottie Austin and George Evelyn, who co-chaired this campaign, have good reason to be proud of the future opportunities their work will provide to current and future Conservatory students."

Funded by the Building Canada Fund – Community Components (BCF-CC) program, Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), and the City of Lethbridge, the Community Arts Centre will serve as a local arts education hub and become the new off-campus home of the University's music conservatory. In addition, an enhancement to the south-east entrance plaza area is being undertaken by the Rotary Club of Lethbridge.

"Today's tour highlights the Government of Canada's commitment to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Jim Hillyer, Member of Parliament for Lethbridge, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

"Once completed, this project will further strengthen our city's creative community, while providing new opportunities for residents and visitors to experience Lethbridge's cultural attractions."