Expanded deCoste Centre will offer Pictou County residents better access to cultural and community programming 

News release

Pictou, Nova Scotia, August 2, 2022—Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, the Honourable Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia, the Honourable Karla MacFarlane, Minister of Community Services, the Honourable Pat Dunn, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, His Worship Jim Ryan, Mayor of the Town of Pictou, and Robert Parker, Warden of the Municipality of Pictou County, announced $9 million in funding for the development of Cultural Hub in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Minister Fraser made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

“The deCoste Centre has been a fixture on the Pictou waterfront for over 35 years. The investment we are making today will establish an expanded cultural hub with a performing arts centre and brand new public library that will make our community a more vibrant and dynamic place to call home for a generation. I want to offer my thanks and congratulations to everyone at home who helped make this project happen,” said the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova.

The Government of Canada is investing $6 million for this project. The Government of Nova Scotia is contributing $2 million. The Town of Pictou, the Municipality of the County of Pictou, and the community at large are providing over $1 million.

“The new cultural hub will transform the downtown core of Pictou and the surrounding community. Both the deCoste Centre and Pictou Library are invaluable community spaces that provide important services to residents and visitors. And both venues are ready to grow. They’re ready to attract residents and visitors to enjoy high-quality social and cultural experiences,” said the Honourable Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia.

“This year marks the deCoste’s 40th anniversary. This enhanced facility ensures an even more successful future. Pictou will have one of Nova Scotia's most innovative cultural facilities. We are bringing two champions of community inclusion, engagement and programming together. Even before the building is under construction, we have found many new ways to partner with the library and the community is seeing the benefits. Together we will be a force for positive change. The sum will be much greater than the parts,” said Troy Greencorn, Executive Director of the deCoste Centre for Arts and Creativity.

“Public libraries are so much more today. Not only are they places of reading and learning, but active social spaces with meeting rooms, technology centres, and outdoor gathering areas. This funding turns a community vision into reality,” said Dan Currie, Chairperson of the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library.

“This enhanced and upgraded facility for arts and creativity shows how organizations can work together for a common purpose impacting all our citizens, now and in the future. Thank you to all levels of government for supporting this project and moving the dream to reality,” said Jim Ryan, Mayor of the Town of Pictou and Co-Chair of the Project Working Committee.

"This combined facility will be a great benefit to our many rural communities. We know our county is a great place to live and raise a family, but this kind of project makes it even more attractive. A very worthwhile investment from all 3 levels of government," said Robert Parker, Warden for the Municipality of Pictou County and Co-Chair of the Project Working Committee.

Funding will support improved facilities that will serve the Pictou community—and those who visit—for years to come. The deCoste Centre will be expanded to 23,000 square feet to become a cultural hub, hosting a new modern public library, a fully renovated theatre, visual arts exhibition facilities, and meeting space for other cultural and community groups. The new cultural hub will also have accessibility features to make it more inclusive. Improvements will include the complete replacement of dated electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, making it net zero ready. 

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing a total of $6 million toward the project.

    • Infrastructure Canada is providing $4 million through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program.
    • The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is providing $2 million through the Canada Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI) Infrastructure Fund.
  • The Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program is an integral part of Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, providing $1.5 billion over five years towards green and accessible retrofits, repairs or upgrades of existing public community buildings and the construction of new publicly-accessible community buildings that serve high-needs, underserved communities across Canada.

  • At least 10 percent of funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.

  • Provincial/territorial governments, municipal or regional governments, public sector bodies, not-for-profit, and Indigenous organizations interested in the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program are invited to apply on the Infrastructure Canada website

  • Applicants with large retrofit projects to existing community buildings or new community building projects with total eligible costs ranging from $3 million to $25 million were accepted through a competitive intake process which closed on July 6, 2021. A second intake is anticipated later in 2022, however, the date has not yet been determined. Details about the second intake will be published to the Infrastructure Canada – Green and Inclusive Community Buildings’ website as soon as they become available.

  • The Canada Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI) Infrastructure Fund is a $150 million fund delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) to help communities move away from coal by investing in infrastructure. 

  • In Atlantic Canada, ACOA is delivering $55 million under the CCTI. 

  • The CCTI was launched on August 20, 2020 and is set to end on March 31, 2025.

  • Announced in December 2020, Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan includes 64 new measures and $15 billion in investments towards a healthy environment and economy.

  • The funding announced today builds on the Government of Canada's work through the Atlantic Growth Strategy to create well-paying middle-class jobs, strengthen local economies, and build inclusive communities.

Associated links

Contacts

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
343-574-8116
Jean-Sebastien.Comeau@iga-aig.gc.ca

Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Marianne.Blondin@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

Mikaela Etchegary
Communications and Media Relations Advisor
Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage
902-229-5671
mikaela.etchegary@novascotia.ca

Troy Greencorn
Executive Director
deCoste Centre for Arts & Creativity
902-485-8848
troy@decostecentre.ca

Eric Stackhouse
Chief Librarian
Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library
902-755-6031
estackhouse@parl.ns.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
media@infc.gc.ca
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Web: Infrastructure Canada

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
782-641-6365
Lauren.Sinclair@acoa-apeca.gc.ca
Follow ACOA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
Web: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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