Federal Government Invests $5 million in the Cape Breton Centre for Arts, Culture and Innovation

News Release

SYDNEY, Nova Scotia, October 27, 2017

The Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament (Sydney–Victoria), today announced $5 million in funding to help create the Cape Breton Centre for Arts, Culture and Innovation, a new creative hub in Sydney. Mr. Eyking made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, which is receiving the funding for this project, will transform the historic Holy Angels Convent through extensive building renovations and the installation of specialized equipment. Upgrades will include the addition of up to 25 artist studios, a multi-use gallery space, new elevators to increase accessibility, upgraded lighting, sound-proof studios and rehearsal space, and new heating and ventilation systems.

This vibrant new creative hub will be an accessible venue for artists to create, collaborate, refine and share their work with the public. As part of Creative Canada, the Government of Canada’s vision for our creative industries, the government will be investing in more of these spaces, which serve as incubators for innovation and artist growth.

This funding is provided through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada dedicated an unprecedented $168.2 million to the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund over two years. This was followed by an additional $300 million for the fund over 10 years in this year’s budget.


“Canada is home to some of the most talented artists and creative industry professionals in the world. As part of our new vision to support our creative industries, our government is proud to invest in creative hubs like this right across the country. These spaces are incubators for our creators and creative professionals to collaborate, innovate and grow, while giving the public the opportunity to experience their works.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The Cape Breton Centre for Arts, Culture and Innovation is going to be a great addition to our region. The funding announced today is another investment by our government to build on the success of our emerging start-up companies. Also, it will create a regional hub to foster economic development in our arts and culture industry. I commend New Dawn on developing this economic opportunity on the former Holy Angels site in downtown Sydney.”

—The Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament (SydneyVictoria)

“It is no secret that Cape Breton Island is rich in its artistic and innovation heritage. The contribution provided by Canadian Heritage to the Cape Breton Centre for Arts, Culture and Innovation will enable us to provide a permanent home for more than 150 innovators and artists. It will allow us to rebuild this 130-year-old property for the next 130 years—retaining its character and its presence on George Street but with all of today’s modern systems and conveniences inside. This is a project that will undoubtedly contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the North End, Sydney’s downtown core and the Island.”

—Rankin MacSween, Chief Executive Officer and President, New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation

Quick Facts

  • The New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation (NDCSI) is a not-profit-subsidiary of New Dawn Enterprises Ltd., the oldest community development corporation in Canada.

  • NDCSI was incorporated in 2013 as the entity to take over the development and management of the former Holy Angels High School and the former Holy Angels Convent in Sydney as an arts and innovation hub.

  • The former high school is now operational and at capacity as a multi-use space. NDCSI will build on this experience as it embarks on this new project.

  • This is the first time that the New Dawn Centre for Innovation has received funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund plays a key role in improving 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.

Associated Links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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