Port Moody Arts Centre Society gets federal cash for expansion
The old Appleyard house in Port Moody is getting a hefty boost in its evolution from a pizza restaurant to an arts centre extension.
The federal government is providing $480,785 through its Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage fund to help renovate the historic home into an extension of the Port Moody Arts Centre (PMAC). It will be used for workshops, training, ongoing programs and special events.
"We are very happy," said Jane Matthews, PMAC executive director. "It's almost the maximum they will approve, which is fabulous."
It's also the amount the Arts Centre Society applied for last fall, which raised some eyebrows when it was presented to council in September since the federal grant requires matching city funds.
At the time, Mayor Mike Clay expressed concern over the potential funding required of the city, which had already committed $330,000 for the project. As of September 2012, $157,000 had been spent on moving the house from its former Clarke Street location to its new home on Kyle Street, across from the arts centre.
And it's still not known how much the city will spend — and, thus, how much of the federal grant it will use.
With $173,000 remaining in the funds earmarked for the project, the society would require an additional $307,785 to match the federal funds, according to staff's report to council in September.
This week, Clay said the city is "very excited" about news of the grant.
"We still have concerns and we're working with the arts centre," he said. "Really what we're trying to do is make sure we're doing what's best for everybody.
"You always go in at the high end of the grant application," he added. "Now we need to work out the details with the arts centre."
Matthews said now that the grant amount is known, they'll be finalizing plans to bring to council, likely in about a month.
"The city will be determining their maximum amount they wish to put towards the project, so that's how much [of the federal grant] we would use," Matthews said.
The grant also requires Port Moody commit to a 10-year operating agreement, which will add ongoing operational costs to the city budget.
Potential costs noted in the September report to council included a staff member, building and gardening maintenance, security and utilities, with an estimated annual total of nearly $84,000.
Despite the costs, Clay said the city is gaining an asset and will only benefit from the federal grant.
"I don't want to pre-suppose what [the final outcome] will be," he said. "There are a lot of options and it will take time to work it out. Under any scenario, though, it's a substantial benefit to the city from the federal grant."
The federal government also provided $20,000 through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, which will be used for the Port Moody Festival of the Arts for 2012 and 2013.