"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Canadian Government invests in Orillia Museum of Art and History

ORILLIA, Ontario, November 9, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) will be able to increase exhibits and educational programming for visitors in a newly renovated, accessible building, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Bruce Stanton, Member of Parliament (Simcoe North), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Upgrades to the historic Sir Samuel Steele Memorial Building, where the museum is located, will enable the museum to host a greater number of exhibits. In addition, it will add a new space for group heritage activities, increase its storage space for collections, and make the building accessible for the disabled.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in local organizations like the Orillia Museum of Art and History," said Minister Moore. "By supporting these renovation projects, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support our arts, culture, and heritage."

"I am proud of our Government's investment in this project, which supports Orillia's art and history," said Mr. Stanton. "This community will have greater access to historical collections and to local Canadian art, while also creating jobs and stimulating our economy."

"We are thrilled that the Government of Canada is supporting the Orillia Museum of Art and History's long term goal of renovating and expanding the significant and historical Sir Samuel Steele building," said Jane Sorensen, Acting Chair of the Board. "This grant will enable OMAH to expand its programs and exhibit space, which will enhance the richness of arts and culture in our community."

The Orillia Museum of Art and History, established in 1999 as a non-profit heritage organization, hosts a collection of about 9,400 historical items and approximately 350 works of art. Its mandate is to collect, conserve, educate, exhibit and participate in the cultural life of the community. The museum features Canadian artists and historic exhibits, as well as exhibits by area artists and regional private collections.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $975,000 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays. This funding is in addition to $150,000 provided under the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for the initial phase of renovations in 2004.

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