Minister Vandal announces investment to support renovations and expansion of Iqaluit’s Franco-Centre
CanNor’s funding was used to improve and modernize historic community space
September 14, 2023 - Iqaluit, Nunavut - Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Community spaces are an important place for people to come together, experience new things, and gather with their friends, families and neighbours. In Iqaluit, the city’s Franco-Centre has for decades operated a multi-use venue for francophones, Inuit and the general public to participate in a wide variety of cultural and local events that enrich life in the community.
Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced an investment of $350,000 supporting the renovation of Iqaluit’s Franco-Centre. Along with support from the Association des francophones du Nunavut (AFN) and the Government of Nunavut, this represents a total investment of $550,000.
The Franco-Centre has been an important part of Iqaluit’s cultural landscape for more than 30 years. Originally a U.S. Army barracks dating from the 1940s, under the guidance of the AFN it was repurposed and now hosts over 200 community activities annually and is also home to the city’s only French-language radio station and newspaper.
Due to the age of the building, the centre required significant renovations to make it more energy efficient and to improve safety for visitors. Additional space was also created for a new entryway, as well as two new office spaces that will allow the AFN to accommodate new employees. These renovations modernize a historic building in Iqaluit and enable it to fully realize its purpose as a cultural hub for the community. The improved facility will attract more local artists, cultural groups, and professional performers from outside Nunavut.
“Iqaluit’s Franco-Centre plays an important role in the community, hosting concerts, theatre, meetings and other activities for decades. By funding the renovations of the centre, our government is helping support both local francophones and the broader community by improving a vital cultural space in the city.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
“On Official Languages Day we recognize the importance of Canada’s cultural spaces in shaping our society’s identity and building connections. Investing in these spaces is investing in the well-being of the community. By supporting the renovations of the Franco-Centre, the Government of Canada is improving the quality of life for Iqaluit Francophones and providing a space where people can gather and share their culture and experiences.”
The Honourable Randy Boissonnault
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages
“The Department of Economic Development and Transportation was proud to partner with the Department of Culture and Heritage and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency in support of renovating Iqaluit’s Franco-Centre. In addition to serving as the community centre for Nunavut’s Francophone population, the Franco-Centre embodies the Inuit societal values of Tunnganarniq by offering a welcoming and inclusive space for all Nunavummiut to gather, learn, create, and perform. These renovations will make it possible for the building to continue its long history of community programming as well as provide a better venue for artists and cultural groups to showcase Nunavut’s rich arts scene for years to come.”
Honourable David Akeeagok
Minister of Economic Development and Transportation, Government of Nunavut
“We are pleased with this generous financial support from the Government of Canada through CanNor, without which we would not have completed the emergency renovations of the Franco-Centre. This valuable grant from CanNor among others contributions helped to preserve this iconic building of Iqaluit social life, as well as AFN's operations and the cultural industry for the benefit of the francophone community and all Iqalummuit. We thank our partners for their continued supports.”
President of the Association des francophones du Nunavut
The Association des francophones du Nunavut is a non-profit organization with a mandate to support and develop the Nunavut francophonie while promoting French through the preservation of culture and heritage.
Funding for the Franco-Centre came from the now concluded Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), which helped communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they could rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund's purpose was to support not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and other community groups, as well as Indigenous communities to build or improve assets, create jobs and draw Canadians back to public spaces.
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
Communications Advisor, Nunavut
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
The Association des francophones du Nunavut
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