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2013-05-10 at 14:14

Trillium Foundation gives Art Gallery $75K grant for feasibility study

By Jodi Lundmark,
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The Thunder Bay Art Gallery got a financial boost to help them find ways to fund a possible move to the city’s waterfront.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation gave the gallery a $75,000 grant Friday for a capital fundraising feasibility study.

Art gallery board of directors chairwoman Heidi Uhlig said this is a vital step in the planning process of a move to the Prince Arthur’s Landing area.

“It’s very important for us to know how much money we’re going to be able to raise privately,” she said. “We do have a pretty good handle on what we might be able to achieve in terms of funding from various levels of government.”

But it’s that private investment the gallery needs a hand with and the grant will also go towards hiring a consultant to develop the feasibility study.

The art gallery has been located on the Confederation College campus for 37 years, but the board hopes a move to the city’s waterfront would increase traffic.

“We’re really excited about the possible synergies,” said Uhlig of the potential move.

“Being located close to the spirit garden and being a part of that whole redeveloped area … there’s so many people down there now.”

The Little Lions Waldorf Daycare and Kindergarten also received a grant from the OTF Friday; they are getting $31,500 over three years to create the Big Boreal Adventure Goes Historical.

The program expands from the original Big Boreal Adventure, a nature-based scavenger hunt where families would collect rubbings from posts located throughout the city.

Little Lions CEO Marilyn Grudniski said this walking tour will look at local heritage buildings and natural areas of historical or geographical significance.

“We’re looking at history from the beginning,” she said, adding it will look at all the different cultures of people that have come to the Thunder Bay area.

Grudniski said a program like this is important for engaging youth.

“First of all, the civic pride that they understand how unique this areas is and that sense of place … to feel like we all belong here,” she said. “And our connection with the earth and our particular community.”

MPP Bill Mauro (Lib., Thunder Bay-Atikokan) said the OTF is one of his favourite government programs because it’s all about charitable and non-profit organizations.

“I think the strength of the Trillium program is that it really flows money to local organizations that do great work in a large part and often on a voluntary basis that really enhances the communities in which they live and work,” he said.

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