Arts Grants Bolster Fort Frances Cultural Facilities

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FORT FRANCES – “Canada’s stories, shaped by our diversity, deserve to be celebrated and shared. Our government’s contributions through the Museums Assistance Program will ensure that even more residents and visitors across Northwestern Ontario will be able to discover and enjoy our cultural heritage and the works of our artists,” states Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

As the curators and protectors of our history and heritage, museums and cultural institutions play an essential role in promoting and showcasing our stories.

Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament (Thunder Bay–Rainy River), today announced that the Government of Canada is investing $122,170 in five arts and culture projects in Northwestern Ontario. Mr. Rusnak made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

Rusnak says, “Museums and cultural institutions play an essential role in promoting and showcasing the story of Northwestern Ontario. I am pleased to see that so many great exhibits and festivals in the Fort Frances—Rainy River area are being supported through the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program and Museums Assistance Program, and look forward to seeing how these projects will continue to strengthen the cultural fabric of our community.”

The Rainy River First Nations will receive $56,272 to support their series of workshops on traditional Ojibway technologies. Delivered to local Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Northwestern Ontario, these hands-on workshops will increase knowledge and awareness of traditional Indigenous cultural practices, ensuring knowledge is passed to future generations.

“Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre has been a place of gathering, sharing, and learning for thousands of years. We are excited to grow this function by implementing public programming in the form of traditional technologies workshops, as well as updating our current museum collection space to ensure the ongoing sharing of knowledge and the protection of our past for future generations. Miigwech to the Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism for making this possible,” comments Kayleigh Speirs, Administration Manager, Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre.

The Rainy River First Nations will also receive $32,034 to update the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre’s physical storage, curation, and housing areas to better care for the cultural artifacts in their extensive collection.

The Atikokan Centennial Museum will receive $44,300 to support renovations to the permanent collection storage area and install high-density storage units.

The Fort Frances Museum will receive $14,900 in order to host the exhibit “Echoes in the Ice: The Franklin Expedition,” on loan from the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

“This is new for Fort Frances. Borrowing an exhibit of this caliber – created by a first-class museum like the Canada Science & Technology Museum – is beyond what we can typically afford, as the loan fees and transportation to our area are simply too costly. Having Canadian Heritage agree to fund the bulk of these costs will encourage us to look at other exhibits, something I feel is very important for our region. Not everyone has the means to travel to larger centres to see newsworthy exhibits like Echoes in the Ice: Finding Franklin’s Ship – also a truly Canadian story. The Fort Frances Museum is very grateful to the federal government for this generous grant,” says Sherry George, Curator for the Fort Frances Museum & Cultural Centre

The Rainy River Future Development Corporation will receive $6,700 to support the Fort Frances South Asian Festival.

Funding for these projects is being provided through the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program and the Museums Assistance Program, which supports Canadian museums, heritage institutions and cultural professionals in the preservation and presentation of heritage collections.