For Immediate Release | January 21, 2019
Art Gallery of St. Albert Reopening Its Doors – Barrier Free!
Grand Reopening on February 9, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
The Arts & Heritage Foundation (AHF) and the City of St. Albert are excited to announce the grand reopening of the Art Gallery of St. Albert. Following its recent renovation and temporary closure, the transformed Gallery will re-open with an enhanced and barrier-free space.
In the Fall of 2018, City Council granted funding to improve the facility. The Arts and Heritage Foundation was able to secure additional funding from the Government of Canada through two separate funding pools: the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and the Enabling Accessibility Fund; and from the Province of Alberta, through the Community Facility Enhancement Program.
The improvements involved modifications to bring the building up to code and ensure it would be accessible to all. The result is a creative investment into an important heritage building in our city, resulting in a barrier-free facility that is accessible to our entire community.
“Creating a barrier-free art gallery enables all residents to enjoy this wonderful facility, where they can foster new connections through art,” says Mayor Cathy Heron.
The renovation to the historic Banque de Hochelaga building, improved the Gallery in a variety of ways. The primary purpose of the project was to offer residents and visitors barrier-free access, which reflects the commitment to provide an inclusive environment in City facilities. The Gallery also features a new community space to showcase exhibits, while preserving the character-defining elements of the heritage building. The project included roof repairs, enhanced insulation and a new HVAC system to improve the energy efficiency, reflecting the City’s commitment to sustainability.
Sturgess Architects were contracted to complete the project and to design a ramp to improve access to the Gallery. This project took a creative approach in the design and construction, and included an artist on the project team. Dylan Toymaker is a light design and installation artist, and a former St. Albert resident who grew up in our city. Mr. Toymaker, together with the design team, designed a ramp that incorporates a stunning public art piece called Bird has the Ways.
“This project was unique in that we were able to incorporate public art in a functional way, illuminated wheelchair ramp, resulting in enhanced safety, beauty and function,” explains Mayor Cathy Heron.
The community is invited to attend the reopening and be among the first to see the newly renovated interior. After the opening ceremony, the Gallery will be hosting its first exhibit of the year, which is focused on the region’s commitment to Indigenous reconciliation.
The grand reopening celebration will feature a ribbon cutting and speakers from the Government of Canada, the Province of Alberta, St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron, and the Arts and Heritage Foundation. Guests are asked to RSVP by February 1 at https://artgallerygrandreopening.eventbrite.ca and are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the event.
Date: Saturday, February 9, 2019
Location: 19 Perron Street, St. Albert
Time: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
For more information on the gallery, please visit artgalleryofstalbert.ca.
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