AlgomaTrad Awarded $2 Million Infrastructure Funding from the Government of Canada!

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AlgomaTrad is pleased to announce that it has received $2 Million from the Government of Canada through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund administered by Canadian Heritage. These funds will support AlgomaTrad’s ongoing development of the AlgomaTrad Centre, located on St. Joseph Island, into a year-round arts and culture hub for camps, festivals, workshops, performances, classes, and community dances for both the local population and for visitors from outside the region. Most of these funds are earmarked for the construction of a new timber frame performance/dance hall slated for construction in 2024. The new hall will also contain flexible studio spaces for workshop programs. AlgomaTrad is currently working with the Timber Framers Guild of North America to organize a community build of the frame for the new hall. Learning workshops in traditional timber framing will be available to the public.

“I am exceptionally happy that AlgomaTrad has secured $2 million in funding through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund,” said Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing. “This funding will allow AlgomaTrad to continue to provide the arts programming they have become known for, while also allowing them to build, quite literally, towards their next phase. Their new hall will be a great addition to AlgomaTrad’s already sterling reputation and will put them in a better position to increase tourism traffic and continue to grow Northern Ontario’s arts and culture scene.”

AlgomaTrad is a charitable arts organization dedicated to enriching lives and building joyful community through the celebration and sharing of traditional music, dance, and heritage arts. Since 2004, the annual AlgomaTrad Family Camp has been bringing people to St. Joseph Island from across Canada, the US, and beyond, and the organization’s concerts, dances, and workshop programs have benefited thousands of local participants and attendees. AlgomaTrad is building on 20 years of experience to develop the AlgomaTrad Centre, which will be a welcoming community space with programming and events for people of diverse ages, cultures, abilities, and interests.

The AlgomaTrad Centre infrastructure project is well underway thanks to the organization’s successful ‘AlgomaTrad Grows’ fundraising campaign in 2020-21 which raised $350,000 to help leverage government funding. In 2022 and 2023, funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Foundation and Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) has resulted in major renovations to the existing Main Hall that include upgraded commercial kitchen and washrooms; electrical, mechanical, and fire safety updates; and new roof and exterior insulation to help make the Hall usable year-round.

The AlgomaTrad Board of Directors and its founders and Artistic Directors Julie Schryer and Pat O’Gorman continue their fundraising efforts to support the project. AlgomaTrad acknowledges the generous contributions of its volunteers, participants, artists, funders, and supporters in its continuing efforts to bring the AlgomaTrad Centre vision to fruition.